An empty Air India plane flying from Delhi to Moscow returned midway when the pilot was found infected with coronavirus. The state-run carrier’s ground team realised the pilot was a COVID-19 patient only after the Airbus A320NEO had taken off.
Sources in the Directorate General of Civil Aviation or DGCA said “prima facie, this appears to be a lapse” as the pilot was not supposed to be on the plane if he was found positive. Air India conducts at least 200 coronavirus tests a day in Delhi alone for all its crew ahead of all flights that they operate. The results of these tests are centrally processed by the airline.
The Air India plane took off from Delhi after 7 am today and returned to the national capital at 12:30 pm, sources said. The aviation regulator DGCA will order a probe into a “lapse”.