NEW DELHI: Five Air India pilots and two staffers of the Air India Engineering Services Limited (AIESL) have tested positive for coronavirus.Sources said these Mumbai-based pilots had operated cargo flights between Guangzhou and Delhi carrying medical supplies and equipment. However, they said it was unlikely that they got exposed to the virus on duty since it had been close to 20 days since the flight.
Sources also said that all the five were asymptomatic and had been home quarantined. There was no official comment from the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) till Sunday. The pilots discovered that they were infected after they were tested for Covid-19 on Friday in line with the airline delegating them with flying for the Vande Bharat Mission to repatriate Indians from various parts of the world. Two of the five Mumbai-based pilots had operated flights on April 18, while the others flew even earlier.
Air India, which is operating flights to evacuate Indians stranded in foreign countries, have asked its pilots to undertake coronavirus test before they operate such flights.Apart from the pilots, a technician and a tow-tug operator/ driver working with the AIESL have also tested positive for coronavirus, the sources said.