On Saturday morning, a flight that was taken off from Delhi to Moscow had to be called back to Delhi from over Uzbekistan after the airline realised that one of the pilots onboard had tested corona positive.
According to a report, 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 to fly back Indians from Moscow.
The Airbus A-320 Neo (VT-EXR) 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.
“It 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 the crew who have tested negative and hence are available for rostering cleared an A320 crew for the Delhi-Moscow flight” said sources.
The aircraft without passengers took off on Saturday morning. Over two hours into 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.