Budget carrier IndiGo on Monday said many of its employees were facing a tough time in their respective hometowns for their “line of duty and travel history” amid the coronavirus outbreak, reported PTI.
IndiGo is the second airline, after Air India, to report such instances in the last two days. Both the airlines had sent their crew to bring back stranded Indians from coronavirus-hit countries like China, Italy and Iran.
“There are some instances when our employees have been ostracised from their communities as a result of their line of duty and travel history,” IndiGo said in a statement. “The nation gave a standing ovation to the heroes for their fight against this pandemic on March 22. Our operational crew, in all areas, play an equally important role to keep vital services intact. Our colleagues have been working selflessly to serve the country at this critical juncture. Please support our operating colleagues in such a difficult time.”
On Sunday, Air India had made similar allegations. “...It is alarming to note that in many localities, vigilante Resident Welfare Associations and neighbours have started ostracizing the crew, obstructing them from performing their duty or even calling in the police, simply because the crew travelled abroad in the course of their duty,” the national carrier had said, according to NDTV.
On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had lauded the “outstanding efforts” of airline staff. A day before that, people across India were urged to clap from their balconies as a token of appreciation for medical practitioners and other unsung heroes fighting the pandemic.
India has banned all international flights for a period of one week from March 22. On Monday, the Ministry of Civil Aviation said no domestic commercial flight would be flying in its airspace from Wednesday. The operation of domestic cargo flights, however, will continue as usual.
Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, has killed ten people and infected 492 in India. Over 36 Indian states that have confirmed coronavirus cases or deaths have gone under lockdown to curb the spread of infection.