New Delhi : Air India has started evacuation of Indians from Wuhan (China) today. First special flight , double decker jumbo 747 with 15 cabin crew and 5 cockpit crew had been departed from Indira Gandhi International Airport (T3), Delhi to Wuhan for the evacuation of Indians today at 12.30 pm. This flight may return to Delhi from Wuhan (China) at 2am tomorrow. This double decker aircraft configured with 423 seats. Another special flight may depart from T3,Delhi tomorrow.
A team of Five doctors from Ram Manohar Lohia hospital (RML) hospital, one paramedical staff from air India with prescribed medicine from doctors, masks, overcoats, packed food are boarded in the aircraft. A team of engineers ,security personnel are also there in this special aircraft. Whole rescue mission is lead by Captain Amitabh Singh, Director operation , Air India.
Mr Ashwani Lohani, Chairman and Managing director, Air India was himself present at the T3 airport during the departure of this airport. He met all the members of the rescue team in the special aircraft and shared best wishes to them. He told to the media persons present at the airport that 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. No service will take place in the plane. Whatever food is there will be kept in seat pockets. As there will be no service, there will be no interaction (between cabin crew and passengers).”
He added that Masks have been arranged for the crew and passengers. For our crew, we have also arranged complete protective gear.
Air India did such evacuation earlier also from Libya, Iraq, Yemen, Kuwait and Nepal. In August, 1990, Air India and erstwhile Indian Airline evacuated more than one lakh Indians from Iraq and Kuwait via 488 flights in 59 days, created world record for the largest aerial evacuation since 1948-49.
Air India successfully accomplished “operation Rahat”( Yemen) in 2015 as well as operation “safe homecoming” in 2011. Air India also participated extensively during national crisis like Bhuj Earthquake, Jammu & Kashmir, Leh,Chennai and Uttarakhand floods and tsunami at Andaman-Nicobar.