Herd Immunity or not, herd behaviour is here. Airlines have been operating flights to the moment they cannot, which is March 24, 2020, 2359 hours, and as things change at a short notice, flights are operating at high loads again as people just try to get back to their bases. Amongst all of this, airline employees are the ones at risk of catching on to the CoVid19 outbreak as they do the huge service of bringing people home.
But as it turns out, people can’t seem to make the difference with those who are out and about because it is their duty to go out so that the rest can stay home. Over the past day or so, many such stories have been shared on social media of airline crew and their families not being treated very well, and being downright threatened in some cases. Have a look, this is from an IndiGo crew.
And here is an Air India crew being harassed at their own home.
Air India, specifically, gets called to operate all sorts of evacuation flights. They have run missions to Wuhan, Milan, Rome and other places to ensure Indians get home. Per the airlines, all mandated precautions have been taken, such as cleansing the aircraft, gloves, masks, hand sanitizers and more. After operating any such flight, the crew is sent to self-quarantine.
Such harassment of the crew has led to calls by Air India and IndiGo to ensure their crew is treated better than they have been at the moment. Here is the press statement from Air India.
And IndiGo’s press statement reads:
As per the government advisory, aviation is an essential service and our colleagues in IndiGo are supporting passengers who have to travel during these days. We have taken every possible precaution for our crew to be protected from infection during their duties. We have adequate protocols for self-quarantine in place in case its required. We are in line with respect to the DGCA guidelines and all advisories/guidelines issued, and these are being followed rigorously.
However, there are some instances when our employees have been ostracized from their communities as a result of their line of duty and travel history. The nation gave a standing ovation to the heroes for their fight against this pandemic on March 22. Our operational crew, in all areas, play an equally important role to keep vital services intact. Our colleagues have been working selflessly to serve the country at this critical juncture. Our employees have been the front-runners in bringing our citizens back to the country and enabling them to reach their hometowns even during restricted movements.
Please support our operating colleagues in such a difficult time.
I just can’t imagine anyone being treated with the disdain exhibited here, especially those who are putting their own health at risk to facilitate the movement of others. Most people don’t realise that the Cabin Crew are highly trained professionals who are there for your safety and security in the planes. We need to treat them well in good times, and even more during these times where everyone is stressed out.
And I hope the message is clear, this loser behaviour (I’m being polite), needs to stop. Let the professionals do their job.