Airlines COVID

Flying with a virus on board

Thousands of pilots and cabin crew have been infected with COVID-19 over the last few months. Both the government and airlines are to blame for not acting sooner.
08 May 2021
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Ravindra Kohli had a splitting headache. He had just reached the hotel after a late night flight into Delhi, and immediately hit the bed. The headache couldn’t just be from working late hours. After 22 years as a pilot and thousands of hours on the job, he was used to being in the cockpit anytime of the day. He also felt drained. Physically and mentally. 

The last few days had been brutal. While the hours had been long, the need to constantly wear a mask was beginning to trouble him no end. “After eight hours of wearing it, I start getting a severe headache,” he says, over the phone. “I haven’t gotten used to it. But there is no choice.” Certainly not after one of his closest friends, and a colleague, succumbed to COVID-19 just days earlier. Two other colleagues were in the ICU right now. “It plays on the mind. It’s risky to be flying now. But we don’t have a choice,” he adds.

Kohli didn’t want to disclose the name of his employer. He alleges

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