Kudos to all the airlines of India for yeoman’s service to the thousands of victims stranded by floods in the ravaged state of Jammu and Kashmir.
The airport at Srinagar has been cut-off from the city by the rising waters, and much of the machinery is non-functional. Airline staffers are preparing hundreds of boarding passes by hand to return the hordes of stranded passengers to the safety of the national capital New Delhi.
All the airlines are offering reduced fares or in the case of national carrier Air India free flights to rescue passengers from Srinagar and Leh.
Air India is leading the charge. The carrier operated a special A319 to rescue 122 passengers. The carrier has also deployed the wide-body Airbus A330 to supplement the A321 and A320 (via Jammu) scheduled operations to the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir. Air India has also carried over 27 tons of relief material to Srinagar.
India’s largest domestic airline, IndiGo is flying passengers on reduced fares and is also carrying some hard-pressed passengers free of cost. The airline has deployed a psychiatrist to counsel flood victims with the trauma. The airline is flying in relief supplies free of cost including water, surgical equipment, dry food, blankets, sanitisers, etc.
SpiceJet is offering modest fares to all passengers. It has carried over 10 tonnes of relief supplies and cargo into the city, and is deploying a company doctor and one of its senior managers daily by rotation to provide medical assistance and oversee relief efforts on site. While not confirmed by the airline, we understand many SpiceJet staffers have donated to relief organisations.
In all of this, let us not forget the hundreds of airline employees at Jammu and Srinagar who are themselves stranded along with their families and all the uniformed and non-uniformed services’ personnel who are working tirelessly to aid the flood victims.
Salute to all the airlines, and a salute to all the brave men and women of the Indian armed forces.
Share your salutes and thanks via a comment. Also, if you would like to help the victims of the floods please contact your nearest Rotary Club or visit www.rotary.org. Rotary’s South Asia office is located in New Delhi.
(2nd Floor, Central Wing)
New Delhi 110 001, India
Tel: (91-11) 42250101
Fax: (91-11) 42250191