Remember Viktor Navorski stranded in 'The Terminal' when his passport gets suddenly no longer valid due to the war in his country?
Edgard Ziebat is much like Navorski played by Tom Hanks in the 2004 classic movie. This German national has been spending his days in the transit area of the Delhi international airport for the last 55 days due to the lockdown and finally became able to leave to his land on Tuesday, May 12.
Stranded in the airport
Ziebat had been living in the international transit area at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport in the national capital for almost 54 days as the nation went into the extended phases of the coronavirus induced lockdown.
According to the sources, the 40-year old German turned down an offer to go to his home country, and was recently served a 'Leave India Notice' by the authorities.
Under the notice, Ziebat left the airport on Tuesday early morning on a KLM flight to Amsterdam after testing negative for Covid-19 before boarding. In addition to this, the concerned officials had also initiated an investigation against him.
The airport authorities had provided all needed services to Ziebat during his stay nearing two months. While the whole nation got locked up in their own homes, the guest to India ironically, although willingly spent his holidays in the airport terminal.
During the interrogation with the officials, Ziebat told that he came from Vietnam on March 18 by Vietjet airline and had a connecting flight to Istanbul in Turkey.
As no flights were available for Istanbul in India on behalf of the nation-wide lockdown, Ziebat had no way out. Having no Indian visa on hand, he couldn't either leave the airport's transit area.
Countries denied his entry
Earlier, the airport authorities had asked Ziebat to board a special flight to Germany, which was operated under the Germany Embassy in Delhi. But, neither the embassy nor the airlines agreed to take him on board. Turkish Airlines too had refused to take him on board to Ankara as he did not carry a Turkish passport.
He was later issued the Leave India Notice as according to the Indian laws, an international passenger can normally stay in transit for just one day.
"He was asked to make arrangements for his departure from the country," said an officer regarding the foreigner and the notice.
As per the Ministry of Tourism, around 30,000 international visitors were stranded in various parts of the country due to the lockdown. Most of them have now returned to their home countries through several rescue flights operating from key airports considering their plights.