Pilots’ body moves Bombay HC seeks compensation for COVID deaths, priority in vaccination

Amid the second wave of coronavirus in India, an association of Indian pilots approached the Bombay High Court seeking schemes for adequate compensation for pilots who got infected or died due to COVID-19, priority in vaccination against the disease, and insurance coverage for those working during the pandemic.

The ”Federation of Indian Pilots” filed a petition on Monday that stated that pilots are providing essential services. They sought direction from the Central Government to provide an ex gratia amount of Rs 10 crore to the families of pilots who died due to COVID-19. As per the public interest litigation (PIL), since February 2021, 13 pilots have succumbed to COVID-19. The PIL has also sought that they are declared as frontline workers and given priority in vaccination against COVID-19.

The petition mentioned that since March 2020, all airlines and pilots are diligently working to operate the ”Vande Bharat” and other flights for evacuating Indian citizens stranded in other countries and also for the air transportation of medical supplies during the second wave of the pandemic in 2021.

“In such times, several pilots have been infected by the coronavirus and many have lost their lives. Several pilots also face the risk of permanent or temporary disability due to the after-effects of COVID-19, like mucormycosis,” it said.

Pilots from various airlines succumbed to COVID in May

Meanwhile, a total of 17 pilots of Air India, IndiGo, and Vistara died due to COVID-19 in May when the country saw the peak of the coronavirus pandemic’s second wave, sources said last week. IndiGo lost 10 pilots and Vistara two, aviation industry sources stated.  Air India officials said five senior pilots – captains Harsh Tiwary, G P S Gill, Prasad Karmakar, Sandeep Rana, and Amitesh Prasad – of the national carrier died of Covid. Private carriers such as Vistara and AirAsia India have given at least the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to around 99 per cent and 96 per…

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