The special Air India flight will take off from Wuhan at 12.50 p.m., expected to return at 2 a.m. of Saturday

NEW DELHI: An Indian air The Boeing 747 will depart from Delhi at 12.50 pm on Friday for Wuhan to evacuate the Indians from the epicenter of the deadly coronavirus outbreak. The jumbo jet (VT-ESP) Agra took off from Mumbai at 9.01 am for Delhi, from where five doctors from the health ministry will board the plane with all the necessary medications for the evacuees.

“The flight from Delhi will have 4 pilots, 15 cabin crew, three engineers, five commercial employees, two security men and a dispatch officer, in total 33 artificial intelligence employees. AI's director of operations, Captain Amitabh Singh, will be on board to oversee this special flight. All these people will wear the full protective suit when landing in Wuhan, before opening the plane door there, ”the sources said.

The return flight is expected to take off from Wuhan at 10 pm (local time) and arrive in Delhi around 2 am on Saturday. Wuhan-Delhi will take approximately 45 minutes more than the outward journey due to the winds against.

(Heroes and heroines of Maharaja: crew at the Mumbai airport before leaving for Delhi on Friday morning).

AI president Ashwani Lohani tweeted: “The national carrier once again comes to the rescue, this time to evacuate the Wuhan Indians, the site of the coronavirus outbreak. This mission begins today with a Jumbo 747 that operates between Delhi and Wuhan. Jai Hind

Initially, it was assumed that the B747-400 would depart from Mumbai to Wuhan and fly back to Delhi. But that was changed to take the necessary men and material from Delhi.

Two pilots operating Agra from Mumbai to Delhi will land here and then four other pilots will be on board. The AI ​​B747 of 423 seats will fly back to more than 380 Indians back home.

“We have been ready for the special flight since day one and we were waiting for authorization from China, since Wuhan is in a locked state. Our crew and all other employees hope to take their countrymen from Wuhan to the safety of their home in India, an AI official said.