India has seen pretty difficult times and lately the country is suffering a lot due the global pandemic that has hit the world hard. India with its big population has an optimal condition for the wide spread of the CORONAVIRUS hence the corresponding preventive measures taken by the government by isolating the whole country. All means of transportation were stopped, people were locked into their houses, men lost their jobs and the source of their income that supported their families, all in all Indian economy was hit hard and badly. India is still moving towards one of the most infected countries in the world and it is moving fast. We need to keep in mind the fact that India did not produce this virus that was transmitted to it by the already suffering China and European countries. And what is the way that people travel Internationally, its air travel so the international airways needed to take extra measures of precaution.
Here it becomes interesting as now comes a name or to say a reason that could give a plausible explanation to maybe all these loopholes remaining obscured from our sights. Air Asia is a name all of us have heard about or at least traveled with. But now it is suffering from serious allegations that could bring possible repercussions to the company.
1. Ignoring COVID guidelines
Every company has been given a set of instructions and guidelines that it needs to strictly follow in any case to prevent the further spread of the CORONAVIRUS. Air travel is one of the major carriers that brought the virus to the country and further transmitted it. So there needs to be a serious attitude regarding the measures to ensure the safety of the passengers and to not to further facilitate the spread. But allegedly Air Asia does not care for it or anything else besides the amount of its profit. Gaurav Taneja, former pilot in the company who has been put aside due to reporting the issues. Revealed that the company had knowingly ignored the guidelines and circulars by DGCA issued to prevent the spreading of the virus due to the possible cost incurring due to it. Certainly, the measures demand equipment, manpower, and monitoring that do not come free but possibly the cost incurred is more important than the people’s lives.
2. Forced Flap 3 landings
This might be a bit difficult to understand as it contains a bit of technical jargon. There are two types of landings approved by Airbus: the full flap landing and the flap 3 landing. Both of them are safe to use but have their own requirements of usage and it is the pilot who has to decide which one to use. Flap 3 landings are good for normal runways that have appropriate length, geographical and environmental conditions which are most of the time usually. But this is not the case usually and here comes the role of Full flaps that are much more useful in steeper landings or when there is not the availability of good environmental conditions as it gives a pilot a greater degree of control. But both the options come with their own advantages and disadvantages, Full Flap landings are more fuel consuming and drink more fuel about 8-9 liters than Flap 3 landings. So as to save fuel and bring down their operating costs, Air Asia forces or conditions its pilots to make Flap 3 landings. It provides a target of about 98% Flap 3 landings which is almost most of the time violating which will lead to actions or deduction of their bonus. This type of practice subconsciously forces the pilot to make decisions for Flap 3 landings only, even in adverse or unfavorable conditions that require Full Flap landings otherwise putting hundreds of passengers’ lives in jeopardy.
3. Sick leave as off day
This again is the policy of the company to save manpower and hence cost. The company follows a policy of counting sick leaves as off days and then recalling their employees on their off days to work. This might seem quite trivial to you but it’s a bit tricky in effect. Pilots do not get much holidays in the first place like on festivals so they work most of the week even on Saturday and Sundays, so they severely lack the social life that normal people usually have. And as every employee on work they get some sick leaves in a year that they can apply for if obviously they are sick. Now as always sickness comes uncalled for and unexpected so if you fall sick on your off day but if you have called for an sick leave previously due to some unexpected circumstances you would have to report to work even if you are sick. Even if the chances are low it could definitely happen and a pilot unlike any other has to be definitely in his 100% because he is responsible for more than hundred lives behind him. And imagine a pilot who is not in his right state of mind due to being ill what kind of decisions would he take and if a mishap were to take place who would be responsible.
It still is not too late probably despite the lackluster actions and unaccountable behavior, there has still been no major response or action by any regulatory body yet. We should be proactive in rectifying our mistakes and taking care of our shortcomings. But this has been our habit since forever that we wait for something to happen and then find out what went wrong and why that happened. Are the lives of our people so cheap that we simply do not bother to care and sideline anyone who does in the face of some benefits?
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