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Home / India News / Air India pilots talk about Covid-19 duties, seek urgent financial aid in letter to govt

Air India pilots talk about Covid-19 duties, seek urgent financial aid in letter to govt

In the letter to civil aviation minister Hardeep Puri, Air India pilots have said that repeated withholding of wages is straining them financially.

india Updated: Mar 17, 2020, 08:52 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Air India has brought back hundreds of Indian nationals from coronavirus-hit countries.
Air India has brought back hundreds of Indian nationals from coronavirus-hit countries.(PTI File Photo)

Air India pilots have sought urgent financial aid from the government citing their Covid-19 duties. In a letter to Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri, the two Air India pilots’ unions - Indian Aviation Guild and the Indian Commercial Pilots Association - said that coronavirus has wreaked havoc across the globe.

“During this time, Air India employees have gone above and beyond to get our countrymen back from Covid-19-affected countries worldwide,” the pilots’ bodies said in the joint letter.

“On one hand the cabinet has openly praised the recent efforts of Air Indians and the national carrier but on the other, the government has not infused any funds. Our fundamental right to wages for work already done is being flouted time and again,” the letter further said.

This repeated withholding of wages is straining us financially, said the pilots’ associations.

“We urge you to provide urgent financial aid to Air India so that we, the airlines employees, can keep on doing our jobs and (continue) serving the nation,” they stated.

Hundreds of Indian nationals have been brought back from coronavirus hotspots across the world on Air India flights. On Sunday, a special flight of Air India carrying 211 Indian students and eight other passengers, who were stranded in coronavirus-hit Italy, landed in Delhi.

More than 230 people were also brought back from Iran, another epicentre of coronavirus, on the same day.

With global travel bans due to the pandemic, many airlines across the world are staring at massive losses and fear going bust as the worsening coronavirus crisis ravages demand.

Major world airlines have announced deep cuts to service, with US carriers formally releasing a plea for a bailout of some US $50 billion.

Earlier, European carriers announced additional cutbacks in service due to the crisis. Britain’s Virgin Atlantic added that it has decided to park 75 per cent of its total fleet, and in April this will rise as high as 85 per cent.

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