National air carrier Air India, which is all set to bring back Indian nationals from the Gulf, Europe and the United States as part of a mammoth exercise beginning Thursday to repatriate lakhs of people, has advised all operating cockpit and cabin crew to stay in a hotel until their COVID-19 test turns out to be negative.
"On the advice of Government of India, Air India shall be operating special flights to various foreign stations for Indian nationals stranded abroad as per the schedule attached. The Cockpit/Cabin Crew operating to the following stations shall be night stopping at the following International stations: USA (New York, San Francisco, Washington, Chicago), London, Singapore (on BOM flights). The GM (Ops) of all bases are advised to ensure Crew Transport / Movement Control staff / Availability of Co.Doctor for Pre/Post Flight MED Examination," read a mail sent by Air India to its crew.
The crew which are part of evacuation flights have been ordered to stay in a hotel till his/her COVID-19 test come out negative. Only after that, they will be allowed to go home.
"In addition, the concerned arriving crew shall be staying in a hotel for 24 hrs and will be required to undergo SWAB Test GM(CMS)/GM(DOps) to ensure scheduling of Cockpit/Cabin Crew Station Managers of the above stations to make arrangements for transportation and hotel accommodation (at the contracted hotels) at all applicable stations on a FULL BOARD BASIS (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included). This should be negotiated with the hotel and preferably be done on a gratis / FOC basis." Air India mail read.
Further, Air India stressed that crew members are specially assigned for New York (NY) sector, because there has been a high number of positive COVID-19 cases reported from the United States.
"Due to the major COVID problem in Manhattan NY, all crew should be accommodated at the contracted EWR (Newark) hotel. A mandatory compliance report is awaited on an urgent basis to ensure that the above evacuation operations are carried out smoothly GM(IFD) in flight department - to ensure proper coordination for all flights and all bases," the Air India mail to evacuation crew read.
Under the mammoth "Vande Bharat Mission", a total of 64 flights will be deployed for evacuation of Indians from several countries. "Out of these 64 flights, 10 will be sent to UAE, two to Qatar, five to Singapore, seven to the USA, five to the Philippines, seven to Bangladesh, two to Bahrain, seven to Malaysia, five to Kuwait, two to Oman," Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said.
In India, all flight services are suspended since March 25 except relief/special and cargo flights.
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