Qatar Airways pilot dies while traveling as a passenger on Delhi-Doha flight

Vytautas Kielaitis /

An off-duty pilot for Qatar Airways has died onboard a Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) to Doha’s Hamad International Airport (DOH), on which he was traveling as a passenger.

Flight QR 579 departed Delhi at 03:41 local time on August 16, 2023. 30 minutes prior to landing, the Airbus A350 aircraft diverted to Dubai International Airport (DXB) due to the medical emergency.

It is understood that the 51-year old pilot fell critically ill during the flight, and despite swift response and medical assistance, he could not be revived.

The flight remained on the ground in DXB airport for about an hour before continuing on to Doha.

According to The Times of India, the pilot worked with Allegiance Air, and operated SpiceJet’s inaugural flight on May 23, 2005 : DEL Airport to Ahmedabad’s Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport (AMD).

He spent 17 years with SpiceJet, before moving to work for Qatar Airways in 2022.

In fact, this marks the third incident in less than a week of a pilot dying. On August 14, 2023, a pilot from LATAM died while on a flight from Miami International Airport (MIA) to Santiago de Chile Airport (SCL).

On August 17, 2023, an IndiGo pilot collapsed and died at the boarding gate moments prior to operating a flight to Nagpur.

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