Air India Delhi-Moscow flight called back after reaching Uzbekistan airspace as pilot found Covid-19 positive

Vishnu Vasisht

An Air India flight going to Moscow returned back to Delhi on Saturday after takeoff. In fact, the flight from Delhi to Moscow came back halfway when the ground staff came to know that one of the pilots on board the plane was found to be Coronavirus infected. Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said that an order has been given to investigate "flaws" after the aircraft is returned.

A senior Air India official said, "Under the Vande Bharat Mission, Air India's A320Neo aircraft was going to Moscow to bring back stranded Indians. The aircraft had arrived in the airspace of Uzbekistan when the officials found that a pilot aboard is Covid-19 infected*.

DGCA said, "Prima facie the matter seems to be a drawback because if the pilot was found to be Coronavirus infected, he should not have been in the aircraft.

According to the information, there were a total of four pilots in the aircraft. Two to carry and two to return. Apart from these, there were other crew members.

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Officials said that there were no passengers in the plane. As soon as the information was received, the aircraft was asked to return immediately. The plane returned to Delhi on Saturday at 12.30 pm. The other crew members who were on board are quarantined. Another aircraft will be sent to bring back the stranded Indians.

The Centre allowed domestic air services in the country from 25 May Monday. Coronavirus patients have been found on two flights ever since. An employee of Alliance Air, who was on a Delhi-Ludhiana flight, was found to be Corona positive. After this, other passengers aboard the aircraft were quarantined.

Apart from this, a passenger was also found infected with coronavirus in Chennai-Coimbatore Indigo flight. After which, the entire crew members of the aircraft were quarantined for 14 days.


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