A passenger on board an IndiGo flight announced just before take-off from Delhi that he was COVID-19 positive, prompting the pilot to return to the parking bay for safety of the passengers, sources have said.
The IndiGo flight 6E-286 was preparing for take-off for Pune when the man told the cabin crew that he was COVID-19 positive and showed them documents to prove it.
The pilot of the Airbus A320 Neo then radioed the ground controllers about the situation and decided to return, the sources said.
An announcement was made by the pilot that passengers on three rows of seats – from 6 to 8 – should get down first and wait in a coach for containment. The COVID-19 positive passenger sat in one of these rows.
The seats had to be disinfected and seat covers changed before the flight could take off again.
While the passengers were waiting for the safety measures to be completed in the aircraft, they were provided with PPE gowns and were asked to wear them for the entire duration of the flight, sources said.
The cabin crew gave beverages and water to the passengers and they appreciated IndiGo’s efforts, they said.
The COVID-19 positive passenger was sent to south Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital’s Covid facility in an ambulance.
The aviation sector was one of the worst hit by the pandemic as the lockdown stopped mass travel. As the lockdown eased, airlines have been following strict safety measures and these have become the norm now.