Air India Express has operated the first international flight from the country with fully vaccinated crew on 18th June, 2021 on Delhi – Dubai sector. The pilots and the cabin crew of IX 191, which took off from Delhi at 10.40 AM, 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.
“We have vaccinated almost all eligible crew members and frontline staff not only to ensure their safety and health but also to make our passengers feel safe and reassured as they fly with us, " said the airline in a statement, “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 7th May 2020 carrying passengers from Abu Dhabi. We are happy that now our teams are shielded with the protection of the vaccines” it added.
The Airline 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 7005 VBM flights carrying a total of 1.63 million passengers till last month.
Recently Vistara operated India’s first domestic flight with pilots and cabin crew fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The special flight UK963 departed Delhi International Airport on June 16 at 8:50 AM and arrived at Mumbai Airport at 11:10 AM. Vistara has said that it plans to operate more such flights in the coming days as their number of fully vaccinated staff increases.