Air India’s Moscow-bound plane called back as team finds pilot is Covid-19 positive

The shortage pushed up airfares, allowing Air India to make a windfall. Photo: Nikkei Asian Review. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

NEW DELHI, May 30, 2020, Hindustan Times. An Air India’s Delhi-Moscow Airbus A-320 Neo (VT-EXR) flight was forced to return midway after ground team realised that the pilot was coronavirus positive, Hindustan Times reported.

Officials said there was an error in the pre-flight test report, which was read as negative initially. The pilot reportedly took ill during the flight and was called back.

“When the A320 plane, which did not have any passengers as it was heading to Moscow to bring back stranded Indians under Vande Bharat Mission, had reached Uzbekistan’s airspace, our team on ground realised that one of the pilots had tested Covid-19 positive,” a senior Air India official was quoted as saying by Press Trust of India.

“The flight was immediately asked to return. It came back to Delhi at around 12.30 pm on Saturday,” the official added.

The crew has been quarantined. Another plane would be sent to Moscow to bring back the stranded Indians, according to the officials.

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