28 January 2020, Tuesday 14:23:26

Air India’s Boeing 747 Wuhan Evacuation Flight Put On Hold

Air India is preparing for an emergency dash to Wuhan to evacuate Indian citizens from the city. Many Indians, mostly medical students, are stranded in Wuhan after Chinese officials closed off the city following an outbreak of coronavirus.

Air India is preparing for an emergency dash to Wuhan to evacuate Indian citizens from the city. Many Indians, mostly medical students, are stranded in Wuhan after Chinese officials closed off the city following an outbreak of coronavirus.

The evacuation flight depends on the Chinese government giving it the go-ahead. But a meeting by senior government officials in India has paved the way for a request being made.

India’s move accords with a push by several countries to get its citizens away from Wuhan.  The USA is setting the pace. It is chartering a Boeing 767 to evacuate consulate personnel and private US citizens. That flight is expected to take place today, Tuesday 28 January 2020.

Confusion around when and if the flight will happen

Indian media is reporting on the attempt to bring its citizens home. But there is considerable uncertainty about when, and even if, the flight will occur. A statement released by the Indian government yesterday said;

“It was decided that steps may be taken to prepare for the possible evacuation of Indian nationals in Wuhan. Accordingly, the ministry of external affairs will make a request to the Chinese authorities.”

Note the wording in this statement. An evacuation flight may possibly happen.

A report by Aditya Anand in The Hindu suggests some government officials and Air India have jumped the gun a little. Air India had scheduled an evacuation flight late afternoon yesterday, Monday 27 January 2020.

That flight was put on hold. It appears that while the Indian government was broadly supportive of the flight ahead, neither India’s civil aviation authority nor the Chinese government had granted permission for the flight.

An official from India’s Directorate-General of Civil Aviation said no permission to operate the evacuation flight had been sought or granted. (Simple Flying)

Air India’s Boeing 747 Wuhan Evacuation Flight Put On Hold

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