Thursday, July 22, 2021

56 Air India crew, including 5 Vande Bharat pilots, died of Covid till July, govt says

New Delhi: Despite various measures to safeguard employees affected by the pandemic, the national carrier, Air India, has lost 56 staff members, including five pilots, to coronavirus till 14 July.

In a written response to a Lok Sabha question Thursday, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation, V.K. Singh confirmed that a total of 3,523 Air India Limited employees have been affected by the virus.

“A number of representations have been received by Air India from employee associations for grant of due compensation and other benefits to the COVID-19 affected employees,” the statement read.

Various measures have been undertaken to safeguard the needs of the employees and their families affected due to the pandemic, including a 17-day-long paid quarantine leave, compensation of Rs 10,00,000 for the death of a permanent employee and Rs 5,00,000 for the death of a fixed-term contractual employee. Families of casual/contract workers were paid compensation of Rs 90,000 or two months’ salary.

The national carrier also provided medical facilities such as hospitalisation to those affected, while Covid care centres were opened in several cities to cater specifically to its employees. Vaccination for employees and their families was also conducted free of cost.

The national carrier lost five pilots — Harsh Tiwary, G.P.S. Gill, Prasad Karmakar, Sandeep Rana and Amitesh Prasad — all of whom operated Vande Bharat flights — India’s repatriation mission.

Many blamed the airline management for a delayed vaccination drive.

22/07/21 Taran Deol/Print

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