The Federation of Indian Pilots on Tuesday filed a public interest litigation in the Bombay High Court, seeking compensation of Rs 10 crore for families of pilots who have died due to Covid-19, PTI reported.
The organisation has also sought “frontline worker” status for pilots working during the pandemic, so that they become eligible for priority vaccination and insurance coverage.
In its plea, the Federation of Indian Pilots said that 17 pilots have succumbed to the pandemic so far, including 13 since February this year, NDTV reported.
The Indian Pilots Guild and Indian Commercial Pilots Association, the unions of Air India and the erstwhile Indian Airlines have moved multiple petitions to the aviation ministry with these demands, according to The Times of India.
The airlines’ bodies have also approached Air India on the matter.
“However, to date, there is no scheme for adequate compensation to pilots in case of their demise. There is no insurance or any other such scheme providing a safety net to pilots,” the Federation of Indian Pilots said in a statement on Tuesday.
The body has 5,619 members working for airlines such as Air India, SpiceJet, IndiGo, Reliance Commercial, Go Air, Saudia, and Vistara.
The petition cited a reply given by the aviation ministry in the Parliament in which it said that 1,995 employees of Air India alone had tested positive till February 1, while 583 of them were hospitalised. Those infected included crew operating in the central government’s Vande Bharat mission. Under the Vande Bharat initiative, the government brought back Indians stuck in other countries during the pandemic.