COVID-19: First fully vaccinated Air India crew flies from Delhi to Dubai

Air Indian Express vaccinated crew members on their first international flight. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Air India Express operated India’s first international flight with fully vaccinated crew from Delhi to Dubai on Friday.

The airline said in a statement: “The pilots and the cabin crew of IX 191, which took off from Delhi at 10.40am, had received both doses of their COVID-19 vaccine. Capt. D R Gupta and Capt. Alok Kumar Nayak, captained the flight with cabin crew members Venkat Kella, Praveen Chandra, Pravin Chougle and Manisha Kamble. The same crew operated the return flight IX 196, on Dubai — Jaipur — Delhi sector.”

Vande Bharat Mission

Air India Express said: “As we operate the country’s first international flight with fully-vaccinated crew, it may be recalled that it was Air India Express that operated India’s first-ever Vande Bharat Mission (VBM) flight which touched down Indian soil on 7 May 2020 carrying passengers from Abu Dhabi. We are happy that now our teams are shielded with the protection of the vaccines.”

India’s budget carrier has been part of the Vande Bharat Mission, the largest civilian evacuation exercise in the world undertaken by the government of India in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak last year. Air India Express alone operated 7,005 VBM flights carrying a total of 1.63 million passengers till last month.

Air India Express said: “We have vaccinated almost all eligible crew members and front-line staff not only to ensure their safety and health but also to make our passengers feel safe and reassured as they fly with us.”