New Delhi, May 30, 2020.
aircraft winging its way from Delhi to Moscow with no passengers on board on Saturday morning had to be called back to Delhi from over Uzbekistan after the airline realised that one of the pilots onboard had tested corona positive. An oversight by the team checking pre-flight test reports of crew members had mistakenly read this captain’s positive report as negative and released him for the ferry flight (meaning with no passengers and only crew) that was going to fly back Indians from Moscow.
n a statement, AI said: “Air India Saturday morning recalled its aircraft operating Delhi Moscow without passengers immediately when it was noticed that one of the cockpit crew had tested positive in the pre flight covid test. On return, immediately after landing all cockpit and cabin crew have been tested and all laid down medical precautions are being taken to ensure their health and safety. Another aircraft has taken off today to operate the Vande Bharat flight Moscow to Delhi.”
The Airbus A-320 Neo returned to Delhi at about 12.30 pm and now the crew will be quarantined as per norms. This plane will be fumigated and the airline is sending another A320 Neo to Moscow later on Saturday afternoon to fly back Indians from there.
Airline sources say: “This was a genuine oversight due to the massive amount of test results that need to be gone through. Delhi base alone sees testing of 300 crew members daily due to which more labs had to be roped in. The volume of tests has meant results come in an excel sheet now. The person checking the test result status of crew who have tested negative and hence are available for rostering cleared an A320 crew for the Delhi-Moscow flight.”