Evacuation of Indians: Air India flight takes off to Wuhan, is expected to return to Delhi after 2 am on Saturday

NEW DELHI: A special has taken off from Delhi to evacuate the Indians from the epicenter of the deadly coronavirus outbreak. The AI ​​Boeing 747 took off at 1.18 pm and will arrive in Wuhan in less than 6 hours. He is expected to leave Wuhan after 10 pm (local time) and return to Delhi at 2 am on Saturday. Wuhan-Delhi will take approximately 45 minutes more than the outward journey due to the winds against.

the jumbo jet (VT-ESP) “Ajanta” first took off from Mumbai at 9.01 am as AI 1348 for Delhi from where five doctors from the health ministry will board the aircraft with all medicines required for the evacuees. “ the flight from Delhi will have 4 pilots, 15 cabin crew, three engineers, five commercial staff, two security-men and one despatch official — in all 33 people AI staffers. AI director operations Captain Amitabh Singh will be onboard to supervise this special flight. All these people will wear the full protective suit on landing in Wuhan, before opening the aircraft door there,” said sources.

Being a special evacuation flight, AI has made arrangements keeping in mind the health concerns. the crew and others on board will take all precautions. A meal box will be kept on each seat for passengers with no additional service to minimize contact with the crew. Two lavs will be kept only for the crew.

AI chairman , who was at the airport when the special flight landed in Delhi, tweeted: “ the national carrier once again comes to the rescue - this time to evacuate Indians from Wuhan, the site of the outbreak of coronavirus. This mission begins today with a Jumbo 747 operating between Delhi and Wuhan. Jai Hind”

the B747-400 was initially supposed to leave from Mumbai for Wuhan and fly back to Delhi. But that was changed to take the necessary men and material from Delhi.

Two pilots operating Ajanta from Mumbai to Delhi will alight here and then four other pilots will be on board. the 423-seater AI B747 will be flying back over 380 Indians back home. “We have been ready for the special flight from day one and were just awaiting clearance from China as Wuhan is in a state of lockdown. Our crew and all other employees are looking forward to bringing home fellow countrymen back from Wuhan to the safety of their home in India,” said an AI official.