Air India Express became the first Airline in India to operate an international flight with their entire Air Crew (Pilots and Cabin Crew) being fully vaccinated (receiving two doses) against Covid-19. Their Flight Number, IX191, operated from Delhi International Airport to Dubai International Airport in the United Arab Emirates. The flight took-off at 10.40 a.m. local time.
A statement from the Airline confirmed that the same Air Crew would operate the return flight from Dubai to Delhi, via Jaipur. It said, “Captain D R Gupta and Captain Alok Kumar Nayak, captained the flight with cabin crew members Venkat Kella, Praveen Chandra, Pravin Chougle and Manisha Kamble. The same crew operated the return flight, IX196, on Dubai- Jaipur- Delhi sector.”
Vaccinating – Part Of Customer Service
Air India Express have signalled an explicit intent to vaccinate all their eligible Ground and Air Crew employees as soon as possible, because it will in turn give their customers piece of mind that they are flying in a Covid-19 secure Aircraft. Furthermore, the government has elevated the status of Airline Workers to ‘Frontline Workers’ to expedite the vaccination programme amongst staff in the industry, which in turn will prevent previous instances of Airline Workers losing their lives to Covid-19.
The Airline went onto state, ”As we operate the country’s first international flight with fully-vaccinated crew, it may be recalled that it was Air India Express that operated India’s first-ever Vande Bharat Mission (VBM) flight which touched down Indian soil on May 7 carrying passengers from Abu Dhabi. We are happy that now our teams are shielded with the protection of the vaccines.”
Indeed, up until the end of May 2021, Air India Express had operated 7,005 VBM flights, carrying a total of 1.63 million passengers.