Resuming flight operations in these times has not been easy for both airlines and passengers. In a recent development, Low Cost Carrier based in India, IndiGo Airlines, reported on May 26, 2020 (Tuesday) that a passenger who travelled on one of its flight from Chennai to Coimbatore on the previous day, has been tested positive for COVID-19.
IndiGo said in a statement:
‘We received confirmation from the Coimbatore airport doctor that a passenger who travelled on 6E 381 from Chennai to Coimbatore on 25th May evening, has tested positive for Covid-19.’
As a precaution, the airline has grounded the crew members that operated the flight. The passenger is currently quarantined at the ESI state medical facility at Coimbatore. IndiGo has clarified that the infected passenger was seated on-board the aircraft with all precautionary measures including face shield, face mask and gloves, as were the other passengers, according to the safety norms that airlines in India are asked to follow. Furthermore, no one else was seated besides him, thereby, significantly reducing the possibility of transmission. The passenger was detected positive in Coimbatore, however, reports claim that his pre-boarding temperature checks at Chennai Airport were normal.
As per guidelines, all aircraft in India are sanitised as per standard operating procedure laid down by the Civil Aviation Authorities, and the aircraft operating this flight was also disinfected before next flight as per protocol.
The airline also stated:
‘The operating crew has been grounded for 14 days and we are in the process of notifying other passengers as per the government guidelines, to ensure safety of our passengers and staff.’
Ever since flights have resumed in India this week, this has been the first case where a passenger has been detected positive for coronavirus. While Indian aviation has begun with less than half the normal force, airlines and passengers need to be cautious of their health and hygiene to prevent the spread of the virus.
What do you think of resumption of aviation in selected countries? Is it too early for airlines to resume operations? Let us know in the comments!