Friday, June 04, 2021

17 pilots of Air India, IndiGo, Vistara died of Covid in May: Sources

New Delhi: A total of 17 pilots of Air India, IndiGo and Vistara died due to COVID-19 in May when the country witnessed the peak of the coronavirus pandemic's second wave, sources said on Thursday.

IndiGo lost 10 pilots and Vistara two, aviation industry sources stated.

Air India officials said five senior pilots - captains Harsh Tiwary, G P S Gill, Prasad Karmakar, Sandeep Rana and Amitesh Prasad - of the national carrier died of Covid.

No pilot has died due to COVID-19 at AirAsia India till date, the industry sources mentioned.

Air India and Vistara did not respond to the queries sent by PTI on this matter. While IndiGo did not comment about the pilots' deaths, the carrier said it has given first dose to around 20,000 of its total 35,000 employees and its ground handling subsidiary Agile.

"We are committed to covering our entire workforce by mid-June," said Raj Raghavan, Senior VP & Head of Human Resources, IndiGo, in a statement to PTI.

Indigo has a "robust" welfare scheme and a "benevolent policy" so that each family of the deceased pilot would be getting Rs 5 crore, the sources mentioned.

They added that while there were barely a few pilots of IndiGo who tested positive during the first wave, almost 450 pilots of the carrier tested positive for COVID-19 during the second wave.

Private carriers such as Vistara and AirAsia India have given at least the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to around 99 per cent and 96 per cent of their eligible employees, respectively, as of now.

People who are being treated for Covid or have recently recovered are not considered eligible for vaccination.

04/06/21 PTI/India Today

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