Air India Pilot Recalls his Mission to Rescue Indian Citizens in WuhanSivaranjani Soundararaj (Author) Published Date : Feb 18, 2020 18:03 IST
Air India Pilot Recalls his Evacuation Mission to China: China is where it all began, the emergency in every possible corner of the world out of the Coronavirus outbreak.
In an interview with the private news agency, Air India Pilot recalls his evacuation mission to China. Air India Pilot Amitabh Singh initiated the speech by describing the Wuhan city of China as "An eerie silence prevailed, with no sight of humans anywhere."
Air India Director and Captain Amitabh Singh planned and led India's recent evacuation mission of bringing back the Indian citizens with the utmost care from China on January 31 and February 1, 2020.
To encourage more missions on board in future, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh delivered Prime Minister Narendra Modi's letter of appreciation on February 17, 2020, to Director Amitabh Singh and the staffs engaged in the rescue mission stating that "We are proud of the commitment shown by the Air India team to bring home their countrymen despite the trying conditions in Wuhan."
Mission Accomplished: Amitabh Singh and the Air India crew rescued Indian citizens from China twice. The first flight rescued nearly 324 Indians out of China, and the second flight rescued 323 from Wuhan, out of which seven people were Maldivians.
- Evacuation Mission to China: Captain Amitabh Singh proudly recalls his evacuation mission to China with more enthusiasm and courage to serve more to the nation.
- The team Air India immediately started the evacuation mission right after the moment it is declared as 'on.' Air India has always been the choice for emergency periods; hence the crew handled the directions quite well in the Coronavirus Wuhan rescue too.
- Air India rescue team comprised 15 cabin crew and five pilots, including Singh on each flight with a total of around 68 staff in 423 seater Air India Boeing 747 planes.
- Singh stated that Wuhan's rescue seemed different as the operation is at the epicenter of the epidemics, and a lot of work has been handled by the staff to save the infected and uninfected simultaneously. All credit goes to Pilot Sanjay Gupta, who led the entire mission as the easiest process. Some crew staffs and government doctors helped in do's and dont's while on board as the Chinese government was busy battling their country's infected people.
- Visa authorization took challenging, and the process went till 7 a.m the next morning as it is very near to take off.
- Its not the first evacuation mission for Air India, Amitabh Singh proudly recalls his biggest evacuation of 488 flights carried during the Gulf War in 1990 which involved rescuing Indians from Kuwait.
- Talking about the state of Wuhan, Singh explained that "When we landed, the entire region was deathly quiet. Roads and buildings were well-lit, but there werenâ€™t any humans around. It was eerie".
- The rescued people were bitten scary and feared a lot while on board, but when they landed back in the home ground, they clapped with pride and joy.
- Finally, Singh concluded with a note that the entire crew would be more happy to do it once more in future similar situations with no doubts and regret.