Five Air India pilots have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, news agency ANI reported on Sunday, quoting sources from the state-run carrier.
All five were found carrying infection when the pre-flight test for COVID-19 was conducted. The test is usually carried out 72 hours before the pilots are rostered for flight duties. All five pilots are asymptomatic and based in Mumbai.
The five pilots fly Boeing 787 planes, another source told PTI.
Air India spokesperson did not offer any comment.
A senior airline official said the five pilots had not operated any flight in the last three weeks.
“These pilots had operated cargo flights to China prior to April 20,” the official said.
Air India is playing a central part in the government’s Vande Bharat Mission to repatriate Indian nationals stranded in different countries amid the Coronavirus pandemic and lockdown.
An Air India flight from London repatriated 329 Indians and landed at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai on Sunday morning.
Two more flights are expected later on Sunday – one from Singapore and another from the Philippines.