Five Air India pilots operating cargo flights to China test COVID-19 positive
Five Air India pilots operating cargo flights to China test COVID-19 positive

Air India's ground handling subsidiary AIASL will provide job to a family member of its employees on compassionate ground in the eventuality of loss of life due to coronavirus pandemic, the company said in a notice.

The notice signed by GM (Personnel) of June 6 came on the day a 58-year old Air India pilot, who retired in April, reportedly died of COVID-19.

"In view of this (coronavirus pandemic) national crisis, it has been decided by the competent authority of Al Airport Services Limited (AIASL) that the company on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, will render support to the family of the deceased employee (due to COVID-19) may he/she be from AIASL, Air India or its subsidiaries by giving suitable employment to a family member," the notice said.

This would also be applicable for AIESL, Air India Express and Alliance Air.

AIASL, which is headed by ex-Air India ED Ashvini Sharma, also said the employment will be provided as per the terms of engagement in the company and at airports served by the company.

It carries out ground handling business across 81 airports in the country.

During the nationwide lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic, AIASL staff have handled around 1,900 flights (till June 4) and have been supporting the cargo operations under the central government's lifeline Udan initiative, and also handling flights under the Vande Bharat Mission besides servicing the domestic flight, it said.

It may be mentioned here that Air India's largest employees unions, Air Corporation Employees Union (ACEU) General Secretary J B Kadian had in a letter to the airline chairman and managing director Rajiv Bansal early this week urged to include staff members attached to its subsidiaries in the medical insurance cover for "COVID-19 Frontline warriors".

"We would like to point out that Air India and its subsidiary staff do not find any mention in the scheme announced by the government and equally surprising with the fact that they do not find any mention in the Welfare Insurance Schemes of the airline.

"We would request you to be kind enough to include these staff of Air India and ensure implementation of Insurance Scheme in line with and the same manner as is announced by the govenment for COVID-19 frontline warriors," Kadian had stated in the letter.

Air India has five subsidiaries -- AIASL, AIESL (Air India Engineering Services Ltd), Air India Express, Alliance Air and AI SATS.

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