Air India hits out at vigilante RWAs, demands due respect for crew
Amid the coronavirus pandemic which has gripped the nation, national carrier Air India on Sunday hit back at vigilante resident welfare associations which have been ‘ostracising’ crew members for travelling to coronavirus-hit countries to evacuate stranded Indians.
“It is alarming to note that in many localities, vigilante Resident Welfare Associations and neighbours have started ostracizing 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,” Air India said in a statement.
“These vigilantes have conveniently forgotten that many a spouse, parent, sibling, and child and near and dear one have been brought home safe and secure from affected countries, thanks to the heroic efforts of these Air India crew,” it added.
The national carrier has been sending multiple flights to bring back stranded Indians particularly students from coronavirus-hit countries. The airline brought back a large number of Indians from China’s Wuhan as well as from Japan, Milan and Rome and Iran.
“Air India has taken every precaution to ensure the safety of its crew and protect their well being for each and every flight they have undertaken to fly to cities affected with Covid-19 with all essential and non-essential measures to arrest the spread of the virus amongst crew and passengers,” the airline said.
In January 2020, guidelines for crew members and operational staff were issued by Air India Medical, wherein a detailed protocol to handle passengers and self-care was formulated. The airline ensured that sufficient hand sanitizers, gloves and masks for the crew as well as for passengers were made available on board during the flights which were sent to evacuate Indian nationals from coronavirus-hit countries.
The airline also clarified that crew members who are landing in India from affected cities are sent on home quarantine and also to designated hospitals for check-up as part of the protocol.
The airline has appealed to all citizens, particularly the law enforcement agencies, to ensure that its crew were treated with the courtesy, respect and freedom that they deserve.