Panicked AirAsia Pilots Flee Coronavirus Through Cockpit Windows

It’s completely understandable to be a little worried about the world’s coronavirus crisis. With many European countries under lockdown, the reality of the virus can seem scary. However, it apparently proved far too much for two Air Asia pilots.

AirAsia, Pilot Panic, Coronavirus
The threat of coronavirus proved to be a little too much for two AirAsia pilots. Photo: Getty

Two AirAsia pilots were caught on camera escaping the cockpit of their aircraft through the window. The action appears to have been prompted by concern over coronavirus. Reports suggest that a suspected case was raised in the first row of the cabin. However, according to View From The Wing, every passenger was later confirmed to have tested negative.

Bizarre incident

It’s unclear where or when this bizarre incident took place, however, a video was posted to the Sky Lovers YouTube page on Sunday, meaning it took place prior to Monday. According to TMZ, some passengers in the first row of the aircraft began sneezing, igniting fears of coronavirus. The video is below, however, ignore the thumbnail which is totally unrelated to the incident:

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This meant that when the aircraft had touched down at its destination, the pilots were unwilling to exit the cockpit in the usual manner. As such, they made their great escape through the cockpit windows. The cockpit windows are designed to be used as a point of escape in an emergency, but not for everyday use.

It will be interesting to see what AirAsia makes of the case. After all, it is not really an emergency situation. However, you can sympathize with the pilots not wanting to go near a suspected coronavirus case.

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AirAsiaX Airbus A330 getty images
The AirAsia India pilots did not want to enter the main cabin. Photo: Getty Images

I quite like Gary at View From The Wing’s take on what the pilots could’ve done instead. He suggests a much calmer approach to the predicament, saying,

“In their position, I might have just stayed in the cockpit until passengers were done disembarking the plane. Then, upon finally leaving themselves, wash hands right away without touching their faces first.”

Simple Flying has contacted AirAsia for comment on this story.

Trying to fill planes

With the spread of coronavirus impacting passenger demand across the globe. AirAsia hasn’t been exempted. In fact, two weeks ago we reported that the airline was giving away free seats in a bid to attract travelers. Presumably, the airline was planning to offset the cost with ancillary revenue.

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AirAsia is offering free seats as coronavirus impacts passenger numbers. Photo: Getty Images

AirAsia isn’t the only Asian Airline trying to attract passengers, however. Vietnamese low-cost carrier VietJet yesterday announced a coronavirus insurance product for passengers. Assuming that all the conditions are met, passengers who contract coronavirus on the flight could get a payout worth between $850 and $8500 (USD).

Do you think it was fair to exit the cockpit through the windows, or should the pilots have used the door? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!

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Joe

Understandable, really. The cockpit is the only part where the virus could not have spread, as the passenger couldn’t have entered. While this might be a bit odd, I don’t think I wouldn’t have done something like that under those conditions.

Javed

Based on the Indian flag below the starboard window, the aircraft appears to be from Air Asia India’s fleet. As the airline hasnt started flying international routes yet, this incident likely happened somewhere in India.

Duane

The COVID-19 coronavirus can be lethal, and is extremely contagious!! One cannot underestimate the damage that this horrible virus can do, when a person becomes infected! I would have gone out the cockpit windows too, like these pilots did. With all the misery and deaths around the world, caused by this unseen enemy, containment and staying away from exposure, would be prudent!