Senior officials in Air India on Thursday, June 3, said that as many as five senior pilots have died due to COVID-19 in May. They also said that the airline had started vaccinating its employees from May 15 onwards after a delay in receiving vaccines.
The pilots who died due to COVID-19 were captain Harsh Tiwary, captain GPS Gill, captain Prasad Karmakar, captain Sandeep Rana, and captain Amitesh Prasad, reported Economic Times.
On the other hand, private aviation carriers such as Vistara and AirAsia India have given at least the first dose of coronavirus vaccine to 99 per cent and 96 per cent of their eligible employees respectively until now.
The senior officials also said that the people who are under treatment or recently recovered from the disease have not been considered for the vaccination.
Air India had said in May that it would vaccinate all its employees by the month-end after a pilots' body demanded inoculation since the flying crew were at higher risks.
However, on May 10, the national carrier had to inform its employees that it would not be able to hold a vaccination drive for them at Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport. In a statement, Air India said: "The proposed COVID vaccination camp at GSD Complex, Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) on May 11 and May 13 stands cancelled because government authorities have expressed inability to hold these camps due to non-availability of vaccines."
The statement further reads, "Fresh dates will be notified once we get re-confirmation from the government authorities."
However, it is not clear by when Air India would be able to complete the first dose of vaccination for its employees.
IndiGo has given the first dose to around 20,000 employees out of a total of 35,000 eligible employees that work for the carrier and its ground handling subsidiary Agile.
Meanwhile, in November, Air India pilot's body sought Centre's intervention on the wage cut issue, reported The Sunday Guardian