Coronavirus Outbreak: 'Why risk our lives?' ask Air India crew tasked with ferrying German expats to Frankfurt

Updated: 31 March, 2020 08:32 IST | Gaurav Sarkar | Mumbai

Ask some members of Air India cabin crew tasked with ferrying German expats to Frankfurt

Air India will fly nine flights to Frankfurt from Mumbai between March 31 and April 3. Representation pic/AFP
Air India will fly nine flights to Frankfurt from Mumbai between March 31 and April 3. Representation pic/AFP

The government has tasked Air India with another rescue mission, this time to ferry hundreds of expats stranded in the country to Frankfurt, and some of the crew members assigned the job are unhappy. They asked why should they risk their lives ferrying foreigners to their countries.

Nine flights are scheduled to operate from Mumbai to Frankfurt between March 31 and April 3. A domestic crew of the national carrier will on Tuesday morning bring a number of expats from Thiruvananthapuram to Mumbai, from where they will be sent home in batches. Some members of the cabin crews that will be flying aboard the nine relief flights to Frankfurt said they were alright with rescuing Indians stranded abroad, but it is not fair to ask them to ferry foreigners to their home countries.

"If we brought back all our nationals from the countries they were stuck in during the prevailing global health crisis, why can't other countries also send their aircraft to rescue their nationals? They [other countries] should allocate their own resources. Why do we have to be the bali ka bakra?" asked a crew member.

"My problem is that when international borders are shut, and people are being beaten up for coming out of their homes during the lockdown, why are we being sent abroad to transport foreigners? I understand this is my job, but it is not like I am being called to help my countrymen," another crew member lamented. "It is the cabin crew that will interact with passengers aboard the aircraft… and that is why we are concerned about our safety," said one of the members. Air India refused to comment on the allegations.

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First Published: 31 March, 2020 05:49 IST

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