An Air India flight to New Jersey's Newark Airport in the US had to return to the Delhi Airport on the morning of May 27 as cabin crew saw a bat inside the business class area of the plane just half an hour after take-off, sources said on Friday.
The plane had departed from the Delhi Airport at 2.20 am on Thursday and no one noticed the bat before take-off, they said.
Members of the cabin crew saw the bat in the business class area of the plane and informed the pilots, the sources said. The bat flew from one area to another area inside the plane after it was observed by the cabin crew.
The pilot then informed the Air Traffic Controller about the mammal and the plane was turned around, they stated.
The plane, with its crew and passengers, jettisoned its fuel and landed at the Delhi airport around 4.20 am on Thursday, the sources noted.
Once everyone was out of the aircraft, the Boeing B777-300ER aircraft was fumigated and the bat died, following which its carcass was recovered from the eighth row of the business class, they said.
Aviation regulator the Directorate General of Civil Aviation has received a preliminary report from the airline regarding this incident.
Air India did not respond to PTI's request for a statement on this matter.
However, the sources said that the airline's management had asked its engineering team for a detailed report on the incident.