Written bySiddhant Pandey
The flight was supposed to bring back Indians stranded in Moscow as part of the Vande Bharat Mission.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said this was a "lapse" and will order an investigation.
Here are more details.
According to PTI, the A320 aircraft did not have any passengers and was headed for Moscow when the ground staff realized that one of the pilots had tested positive for COVID-19.
The flight had reached Uzbekistan's airspace and was immediately asked to return, officials told the news agency.
The flight had departed at 7 am on Saturday and returned to Delhi around 12:30 pm.
Sources in the DGCA told NDTV that "prima facie, this appears to be a lapse" since the pilot was not supposed to be on the plane if he had tested positive.
Pilots are supposed to be tested for COVID-19 before they are allowed to fly and in Delhi alone, Air India conducts over 200 tests daily for all its crew before operating flights.
Reportedly, the DGCA will order a probe into the matter. Meanwhile, the crew of the Delhi-Moscow flight has been quarantined. Another flight will be sent to Moscow to bring back the stranded Indians.
Earlier in March, the central government had launched the 'Vande Bharat Mission' to repatriate Indians stranded in other parts of the world amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday that 45,000 Indians had been brought back home since May 7 when the mission was launched.
The government plans to repatriate one lakh more Indians by June 13.
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