First Canada-bound plane carrying Ukrainian refugees touches down in Winnipeg – Winnipeg

More than 300 Ukrainian refugees touched down on the tarmac at Winnipeg’s International Airport, the first of three chartered flights expected to land in Canada within the next week.

The plane landed at approximately 3:45 p.m. central time as hundreds of people escaping the war in Ukraine disembarked and received a warm welcome from from folks at the airport.

“We had a two hour conversation about the pros and cons and now she’s on this plane. It’s amazing!” said Volodymyr Pimakhov just moments before one of his closest friends arrived in Winnipeg.

Dozens of people waiting at the Winnipeg International airport for the first of three charter flights en route to Canada from Ukraine.

Jordan Pearn / Global News

The newcomers were greeted at the airport welcome desk and provided with guides on how to get certain documentation like health cards, social insurance numbers, open bank accounts, as well as welcome packages containing toys and gifts for the children.

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‘They’re safe and they’re alive’: Ukrainian refugees landing in Winnipeg on Monday

“We have many services available for them, so we’re just going to welcome them with open hearts, open minds and open arms,” said Manitoba’s Premier Heather Stefansson.

It’s estimated that about a third of the people on the plane were children.

A volunteer with the Ukrainian Canadian Congress told Global News a range of emotions took over quickly once the plane touched down.

“Some relief, some sense of recognition of our volunteer team that has been working around the clock since April 15th,” said Nick Krewetz.

Canada’s government has already welcomed thousands of Ukrainians since Russian forces first attacked in late February.

Immigration Minister Sean Fraser has said the three flights are to help bring approximately 90,000 Ukrainians approved for emergency travel into Canada.

The second plane is scheduled to leave for Montreal from Poland on May 29 and the third, bound for Halifax, will take off on June 2.

Click to play video: 'Ukrainian mother of two arrives in Winnipeg: ‘I hope to find our peaceful home here’'

Ukrainian mother of two arrives in Winnipeg: ‘I hope to find our peaceful home here’

Ukrainian mother of two arrives in Winnipeg: ‘I hope to find our peaceful home here’ – May 12, 2022

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