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Positive pilot, Air India withdraws plane to Moscow from the middle


NEW DELHI: An Air India plane flying from Delhi to Moscow without passengers on board on Saturday morning had to be called back to Delhi from Uzbekistan after the airline realized that one of the pilots on board had positive in the crown. An oversight by the team that verified the pre-flight test reports of the crew members mistakenly read this captain’s positive report as negative and released him for the ferry flight (i.e. no passengers and only crew ) that he was going to return the Indians from Moscow.

The General Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is investigating this case. “Prima facie appears to be a lapse,” said a senior DGCA official.

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In a statement, AI said: “Air India on Saturday morning recalled its aircraft operating Delhi Moscow without passengers immediately when it was noted that one of the cabin crew had tested positive for the covid test prior to the flight. Upon return, immediately after landing, all cabin and cabin crews have been tested and all established medical precautions have been taken to ensure their health and safety. Another plane took off today to operate the Vande Bharat flight from Moscow to Delhi. ”

The Airbus A-320 Neo returned to Delhi around 12:30 p.m. And now the crew will be quarantined according to the rules. This plane will be fumigated, and the airline will send another A320 Neo to Moscow later on Saturday afternoon to fly Indians from there.

Airline sources say: “This was genuine monitoring due to the large number of test results that must be performed. The Delhi base alone sees tests of 300 crew members daily as more labs had to be connected. The volume of testing has meant that the results now arrive on an Excel sheet. The person who verified the status of the negative crew test result, and is therefore available for listing, authorized an A320 crew for the Delhi-Moscow flight. ”

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The passenger-free plane took off Saturday morning. More than two hours after the flight, another person double-checking the crew test result found that a pilot who had tested positive was mistakenly cleared for the Moscow flight. Then AI received a conscious call, rather than trying to hide it, to return the plane from Uzbekistan to Delhi.

AI has been operating hundreds of flights under the Vande Bharat Mission. The government has made it mandatory for the crew to undergo crown tests before they can operate these flights. The AI ​​crew, who have not yet received their flight assignment since March 2020, which comprises more than 70% of their total salary, operate these flights as a “national duty”.

“It takes three months to start a new station (which means starting to operate flights to a new city). Here we have flown or are preparing to go to nine new cities (including distant ones like Auckland and Vancouver) in one week. We are working under tremendous labor pressure and unprecedented uncertainty. The fact that we do it with the payment due for three months now only increases the pressure. This is our condition. But we are not justifying what happened with the Delhi-Moscow flight. We are human and we had a genuine oversight, a mistake. We didn’t even think about hiding it and called the flight back to Delhi as soon as we realized the same thing, “the sources said.

Times of India