Monday, May 10, 2021

How India’s vaccination drive for the aviation sector will cost around Rs 30 crore and take about six to eight weeks

Most airlines in the country have already announced that they will incur the cost of vaccination for their employees and plan to do so the earliest.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation last week also came out with guidelines to expedite vaccination for the aviation staff. It advised all players, including airlines and airports, to cover their employees under the ongoing vaccination programme.

Priority for vaccination is to be given to air traffic control, pilots, cabin crew and passenger-facing staff, the ministry said as part of its guidelines last week.

The country’s aviation industry employees are estimated to be close to 250,000, including staff working for both airports and airlines. The average cost of vaccinating each employee is likely to be Rs 1,200.

The whole vaccination process will cost the industry nearly Rs 30 crore, a market expert from one of the big four accounting firms told Moneycontrol.

“The vaccination drive, in my estimate, will cost IndiGo nearly Rs 3.3 crore, SpiceJet around Rs 1.6 crore, Air India about Rs 1.35 crore, GoAir Rs 60 lakhs and Vistara Rs 16 lakhs,” the market expert estimated.

He added that as the Civil Aviation Ministry has asked airports to set up temporary structures for vaccination, airport operators are likely to get inoculated on a priority when it comes to airline staff.

Most airlines are also looking at a timeline of six to eight weeks to get around 75 percent of their staff vaccinated as part of the initiative, while airport operators are seeking to expedite the process even faster.

An official at a domestic airline told Moneycontrol: “We are aiming to get our pilots and cabin crew vaccinated at the airports of their next assignments. We are coordinating with airports and our staff to get the vaccine.’’

He added that the airline has advised all its employees to get vaccinated at the airport of their next destination and then quarantine for up to a week to avoid any symptoms.

10/05/21 Yaruqhullah Khan/Moneycontrol

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