Captain T Praveen Keerthi, general secretary of Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA), claimed that many crew members have tested positive for Covid-19 and are struggling to get hospital beds and oxygen cylinders.
The pilots’ union of national carrier Air India Tuesday issued a statement asking the airline’s management to vaccinate all flying crew above 18 years of age on priority. The pilot’s body also warned of stopping the work if their demand is not met.
Captain T Praveen Keerthi, general secretary of Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA), raised the issue with Air India Director Captain R S Sandhu, claiming that the management has left the flying crew “vulnerable”.
“It is disheartening to witness the top management make a mockery of pilots discharging their duties in a risky environment. We were hoping that Air India will not let down the crew and their families who stand by the nation during this pandemic, but the management never ceases to surprise us,” the statement read.
“We feel let down by the self-serving approach of the management, which sees no injustice in organising vaccine camps at few bases but excludes pilots. The employees who are doing desk jobs and the majority opting to work from home are allowed to get vaccinated, leaving the flying crew vulnerable,” it added.
Keerthi claimed that many crew members have tested positive for Covid-19 and are struggling to get hospital beds and oxygen cylinders. He accused the management of “providing lip service” and “playing to the gallery by issuing circulars and letters with no outcome”.
Keerthi also claimed that they have no healthcare support and no insurance and they are in “no position” to continue risking the lives of pilots. “If Air India fails to set up vaccination camps on a Pan India basis for the flying crew above the age of 18 years on priority, we will STOP WORK,” the statement read.
Last month, the national carrier had decided to set up a mass vaccination camp for its employees aged 45 years or above on priority, news agency ANI had reported.
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