A 47-year-old bank manager battling intestinal cancer was flown from South Africa back home to Chennai in an air ambulance so that he could be treated in his home city and spend time with his family.
The jet carrying the manager, along with a doctor and a paramedic, landed in Chennai on Monday after covering a distance of 21,000 km over 30 hours.
The man, a chief general manager with Bank of Baroda, worked in South Africa’s Johannesburg. The bank took care of his air ambulance journey that cost Rs 1 crore.
The entire operation was a logistically challenging, says the company that that flew the Chennai man home covering four time zones. “Logistically, this was a very challenging transfer because our crew flew 21,000 km with 30 hours of flying. It was a gigantic sortie all the way from Johannesburg to Chennai. In the middle, they had a cross a 4,000-km stretch without any option of landing in the middle. So that was kind of dangerous. But they did it, we did it,” Dr Mukesh of ICATT Learjet Air Ambulance said.
During the round trip, the flight had to take stops in four countries – Maldives, Seychelles, Mauritus and Madagascar.
During their return flight, the crew got permission for a night halt in Mauritius.
India has been under lockdown since March 25 to check the spread of coronavirus. All domestic and international commercial passenger flights have been suspended for this time period.