The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has approved the Air India flight to Wuhan for the evacuation of Indian citizens from the coronavirus hit Chinese city.
Earlier news agency ANI, quoting Air India (AI) officials, had reported that “Air India Boeing 747 is on standby for the evacuation of Indians from Wuhan (China). Carrier is waiting for the government decision.”
Air India has currently four jumbo double-decker Boeing-747 aircraft on its fleet, and one of them has been kept on stand by for evacuation from Wuhan.
“We have four Boeing 747 jumbo aircraft, which is ESO-Khajuraho, ESP-Ajanta, EVA-Agra and EVB-Velha Goa, and Airline has 15 commanders and 13 co-commanders for Boeing 747 aircraft. Usually, 12 crew/air-hostess for domestic and 18 crew/air-hostess deploy for an international flight. Aircraft can carry passengers with baggage 41.5 tons, cargo 14.1 tons,” an AI official told ANI.
However, B-747 aircraft has 423-seat capacity, in which 12 first-class seats, 26 business class and 385 economy class seats are configured.
Following the outbreak of the deadly virus, China has imposed a lockdown in the city. However, the virus has spread to several other countries.
The government sources further said: “At present, the aircraft is ready with all necessary resources like the team of doctors and paramedical staff with a sufficient number of masks for the passengers and cockpit and cabin crew.”
Earlier the national carrier had evacuated lakhs of Indians from abroad.