Air India slams discrimination against crew

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on March 23, 2020 Published on March 23, 2020

Even as the state-carrier, Air India has come forward to rescue Indians stranded abroad in the wake of coronavirus, the airline’s crew is falling prey to discrimination.

On Sunday, a batch of 263 Indians, who were evacuated from Italy in view of the coronavirus outbreak there, were brought back to the country and sent to a quarantine facility.

Air India has been operating flights to evacuate Indians stranded at Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus, and has made similar trips bring back Indians stranded in Japan, Milan and Rome. Air India has done this multiple times earlier as well.

‘Heroic effort by crew’

According to a recent report, a video of a girl claiming to be an Air India flight attendant has gone viral on social media. In this video, the Air India flight attendant alleges that the many crew members are being discriminated against by housing society members, when they return from servicing the international sectors. BusinessLine was not immediately able to confirm the same.

Air India has been pulling out all stops to stand by the nation in the aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak, said a spokesperson in a statement adding, “Crew members who are landing into India from affected cities are sent on home quarantine, and also to designated hospitals for check part of the protocol. Safety measures have been providing adequate protection to our crew, who have been discharging their duties.”

However, “it is alarming to know that in many localities, vigilante Resident Welfare Associations and neighbours have started ostracising the crew, obstructing them from performing their duty or even calling in the police simply because the crew travelled abroad in the course of their duty.”

“These vigilantes have conveniently forgotten that many a spouse, parent, sibling, child, and near and dear ones have been brought home safe and secure from affected countries thanks to the heroic efforts of these Air India crew,” it further added.

Air India in the statement appealed to all concerned societies, particularly the law enforcement agencies, courtesy, respect and freedom that every citizen of this country deserves especially in light of the fact of their having undertaken flight duties to affected countries to bring back Indian citizens. to ensure that our crew are treated with the respect they deserve.

Support from public

Several people, and industry players came out in support of the Air India crew on the micro-blogging site, Twitter. Sanjiv Kapoor, @TheSanjivKapoor, aviation veteran, who has recently joined GoAir as a consultant, sharing the press statement, in a tweet said, “it is essential we don't turn against each other. Crew under quarantine should not be harassed. Foreigners & ex-pats who live in India should not be challenged when they are outside their homes. Those from the north-east should not be taunted. Surely we are better than that.”

Aditya Raj Kaul, @AdityaRajKaul, another Twitter user said: “Guys, this is so bizarre. Air India crew/staff has been doing whatever it can to rescue Indians all across the globe. They are following WHO and Health Ministry Guidelines. Only crackpots and idiots would indulge in harassment of Air India employees at their residential areas.”

Published on March 23, 2020
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