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Air India’s Sydney flight returns empty after crew tests positive for COVID-19

Passengers can be brought back only after curbs are lifted

April 27, 2021 02:49 pm | Updated 07:09 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Image for representation purpose only. File

Image for representation purpose only. File

An Air India flight was on Tuesday forced to leave Sydney without passengers after one of the crew members tested positive for COVID-19.

“All crew members rostered to operate the flight underwent an RT-PCR test before departure from Delhi. They were permitted to operate the flight only after a negative test report. On arriving at Sydney, crew members had to undergo the test again and one member tested positive, who is under quarantine in Sydney,” an airline source said.

As a result, the Australian authorities barred the flight from carrying passengers and it had to return with only cargo and the remaining crew members.

Nearly 60 passengers booked to travel on the flight, it is reliably learnt.

Air India flies only one flight — direct — per week to Australia.

A day after the incident, Australia announced a ban on direct flights from India until May 15. An Air India official said the passengers can be flown back only after the restrictions are lifted.

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