A senior member of a flight’s cabin crew was allowed to fly even though the airline had become aware that she had tested positive for COVID-19 less than an hour before her shift began.
The 44-year-old female had completed an RT-PCR test on November 12th due to an upcoming international flight on the 14th. Her employer, Air India Express, received her results on November 13th, roughly 50 minutes before her scheduled domestic flight from Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport to Madurai. She was allowed to fly/work on that flight and then began her quarantine on November 14th.
An Air India Express spokesperson said, “The said flight was a Delhi-Madurai flight, for which a pre-flight RT-PCR test is not mandatory. The head crew member was to operate the international sector the next day and hence had taken the test. However, she was quarantined from November 14 onwards, and no other fellow crew members when tested were found infected.”
Meanwhile, an unnamed source has suggested that their airline tried to manipulate the data regarding the employee’s test date. “The system no longer showed that this senior employee had undergone the RT-PCR test on November 12, which meant that there would have been no (of the conducted test) on-record proof, if the test report wasn’t accessed. Tampering already logged in data is illegal.”
As quoted in the Hindustan Times, a top official with one of the leading airlines said, “It’s true that a crew member can operate few domestic flights until his/her test reports are awaited. This is done in order to avoid a situation of crew shortage for airlines. But, it is completely unacceptable that an airline got the crew member tested only two days before her international flight and also goes ahead, allowing her to operate flights even when she is confirmed to be Covid-19 positive.”
India has already had problems with Dubai and Hong Kong due to passengers testing as COVID positive.
The airline says it will investigate the matter.
Y’know, we have a lot of reasons why we won’t fly right now. Most have nothing to do with the actual flying. But now? Yeah, just add this to the list.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary