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Pilots body seeks vaccination camps for flying crew

Pilots body seeks vaccination camps for flying crew

Mumbai: Citing risk to lives amid the second wave of the pandemic, Air India narrow-body aircraft pilots' body ICPA on Tuesday demanded vaccination camps across the country for the flying crew on priority basis.

In a letter to Air India director for operations R S Sandhu, Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICAP) also threatened to stop work if the management fails to come up with such camps.

Alleging that many crew have been tested positive for Covid-19 and are struggling to get oxygen cylinders, the ICPA said that the pilots are left to fend for themselves for hospitalization.

Amid all this, The management continues to do what it does best, providing lip service, it said.

"It is disheartening to witness the top management make a mockery of pilots discharging their duties in a risky environment. We were hoping that Air India will not let down the crew and their families who stand by the nation during this pandemic, but the management yet again drags its feet when it comes to the safety of its employees and is creating a caustic work environment without any reproach or consequence, the pilots body said in the letter.

We feel let down by the self-serving approach of the management, which sees no injustice in organizing vaccine camps at a few bases but excludes pilots. The employees who are doing desk jobs and the majority opting to work from home are allowed to get vaccinated, leaving the flying crew vulnerable," it said.

The Association also alleged that there is no health care support or insurance to the flying crew.

"We are in no position to continue risking the lives of our pilots without vaccination...If Air India fails to set up vaccination camps on a pan-India basis for the flying crew above the age of 18 years on priority, we will stop work, the ICPA stated in the letter.

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