German man living at Delhi airport since March 18 leaves for Amsterdam on a relief flight

German man living at Delhi airport since March 18 leaves for Amsterdam on a relief flight

Edgard Ziebart, a German national who had been living in Delhi airport’s transit area for the past 55 days, on Tuesday morning left for Amsterdam in a relief flight of KLM Airlines. Ziebart was scanned for coronavirus infection before he got on to the flight around 3 am with 291 other passengers and was found to be healthy. In his self-reporting form Ziebart mentioned T3 as his house and Indira Gandhi International airport as the place of his stay in India, officials said.

HT reported on Monday that Ziebart had been living in the airport since March 18, after he arrived in New Delhi from Hanoi as a transit passenger on his way to Istanbul. March 18 was the day India banned all flights to Turkey to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Four days later, India banned all international flights. Stranded, Ziebart could neither exit India, nor the airport’s transit area because he does not have an Indian visa.

An airport official indicated that Ziebart, who has not applied for an Indian visa, was unlikely to get one even if he did because of a prior criminal record in Germany.

A senior officer from the Delhi airport, who wished not to be named, said Ziebart had told them on Monday that he will leave India soon as a flight is available. “Around 3 am, he boarded a flight KL872. There were total 292 passengers on-board that flight. It was a special flight being operated from Delhi to Amsterdam. Because he was eligible to go to Europe, he was allowed to leave. His tickets cost him around Rs 43,000. He paid for his tickets on his own,” the officer said.

In his self reporting form, that has been mandated by the ministry of health and family welfare for all international passengers, Ziebart mentioned Terminal 3 as his house and Delhi’s IGI airport as his place of stay in India. He told the medical staff that he was not feeling fever, coughing or any respiratory disorder, officer added.

The Indian authorities had recently served a “Leave India Notice” to Ziebart and he had assured them that he will leave the country soon as a flight is made available, officer said.

Last week, Indian authorities had tried to accommodate Ziebart on a relief flight to Ankara, but Turkish authorities refused to accept him on-board since the flight was only for their citizens or permanent card holders.

When German embassy officials contacted him and offered him a passage back to his home country, he had declined their offer, a spokesman for the German embassy in New Delhi told media on Monday.

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