The Minister of Transport has announced that effective 23:30 on 22APR21 a NOTAM is being issued by Transport Canada suspending passenger travel between India, Pakistan and Canada for 30 days.
While this may be a welcome relief for some concerned members, we wish to remind them that the Union has been raising the DEL route as a particular concern for many months. Concerns specific to DEL that the Union has heard and raised with the company are likely to remain problematic even after a 30-day pause. If you have concerns but haven’t yet filed a report, it is still important to do so. Select a health and safety complaint e-report on sims.aircanada.ca or using the iPad if you are an in-charge.
Concerns we have heard:
- Almost daily notifications of positive cases on the DEL-YVR and DEL-YYZ flights (31 in March and 17 so far in April). Some of these flights included multiple exposures.
- Difficulty maintaining sanitary lavatory facilities, despite a refusal on the part of the company to dedicate a lavatory to crew as recommended by multiple industry and regulatory bodies.
- Concerns about the legitimacy of COVID-19 molecular test results, based on customer comments, media reports as well as warnings from the Canadian government’s own consular services in India.
- The impossibility of maintaining any sort of physical distancing on full flights where passengers insist on roaming around the cabin.
- Serious difficulties achieving compliance with masking requirements, over-and-above those our members report on other routes.
- Reports that passengers are allowed to board using scarves, pieces of fabric, repurposed garments, neck gators etcetera, none of which fall into the permitted category of facial coverings for transport on Canadian aircraft. Our members tell us that customers don’t seem to have had Canadian masking requirements explained to them, resulting in especially onerous duties onboard for our language speakers and fellow crew, further exposing them to the COVID-19 hazard.
- A clear message from members that service levels must be re-considered on this route as many of the mitigation measures implemented as part of service re-introduction in 2020 cannot be relied upon or just don’t work.
- Overall concerns about exposure to COVID-19 both on the aircraft and while on layover in DEL.