Citing Delays, Maharashtra Exempts Airline Crew From Mandatory Covid Test
The government of Maharashtra has granted a special exemption to cabin and cabin crew of all airlines at all airports in the state from undergoing the mandatory reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test.
The decision comes after national airline Air India wrote to the state government to exempt them from testing as they operate daily passenger and cargo flights to and from the state.
The Air India spokesperson confirmed that the airline had requested the Maharashtra government to exempt its crew members from RT-PCR testing. The notice issued to all municipal collectors by the state government on Wednesday read: “The state government has received requests from Air India indicating that it is operating Vande Bharat flights and several cargo flights in and out of Maharashtra on a daily basis. The domestic airline currently operates around 42 daily flights to and from Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA). The state government noted that the Covid RT-PCR test, which has been made mandatory for all people arriving at airports, causes delays in flight scheduling. Therefore, the government decided to exempt the entire crew from this test.
“All cabin and cabin crew of all airlines carrying valid identity cards will be exempt from RT-PCR testing at all Maharashtra airports, subject to follow-up of all necessary Covid-related protocols by the airlines. respective airlines in this regard “.
However, passengers arriving in Mumbai and other cities in the state were seen to be confused about the new state regulations on RT-PCR testing. Twitter was flooded with passenger doubts directed at Mumbai airport officials as well as airlines. While some asked if the test could be performed on arrival in Mumbai, others asked if passengers booked on connecting flights from Mumbai should also undergo the Covid test.