Amid the recent surge in COVID cases and emergence of a new Indian variant - B.1.617.2, some of the British Airways cabin crew members are reportedly failing to show up to flights to India. The fear of India's devastating wave of coronavirus cases.
For over the last 15 days, India recorded more than 3,00,000 cases and 4,000 deaths on a daily basis. A recent warning by Britain’s health secretary Matt Hancock on Sunday that the new Indian variant could “spread like wildfire” among the unvaccinated has made the situation bad and the crew are afraid.
UK COVID-19 restrictions eased despite variant concerns
British newspaper The Sun on Sunday reported that in a bid to encourage cabin crew to fly to India British Airways has reportedly axed night stops in India. Also, the airline’s bosses have been forced to write to frontline staff asking them not to stay away from work, added the daily.
"If you do not feel comfortable operating these flights then please complete a form and you will be removed," The Sun quoted the letter as saying. While, anonymous staff member said that crew members are scared of working on the flights.
"The safety of our customers and crew is always our top priority, and we follow and comply with all international regulations," another daily The Independent quoted the British Airline as saying.
On April 23, the Boris Johnson-led government placed India on the 'red list', which means people arriving from the country are forced to quarantine in a hotel for two weeks upon entering the UK.
With Johnson's warning on Friday saying the Indian variant of COVID-19 could be 40-50 percent more transmissible than the Kent variant, fears have grown over the possible 'substantial resurgence of hospitalisations' like the previous year.
Meanwhile, Air India on May 14 released a statement saying that all the international passengers boarding flights from India need to mandatorily ensure that they are carrying a negative RT-PCR report as per the requirement of their destination country, with a QR code linking to the original report from May 22 onwards.
The Indian airliner had also released a list of flights that it would operate from Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru to and fro for London Heathrow airport from May 16 to May end.
First Published: IST