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  • Writer's pictureSatish Kamat

Dhadak, Dhadak, Hum Chale, Hum Chale, Air India Ke Sath

What a coincidence, I wrote my first blog about why Air India deserves the $1Billion Opportunity on 19th April and over next few days, we started hearing the plan for Air India’s Special Commercial Flights for Stranded Indians across the world come home.

This is amazing and shows that - Great Minds Think Alike !😀

There are so many good things in Air India-MHA SOP, similar to what I penned in:

  1. Charge these flights at true commercial rate and not a subsidised rate. Subsidies only to deserving people, not to those who can afford.

  2. Direct non-stop flights reducing time and cost.

  3. Flights from all over the world into directly cities like Ahmedabad, Kochi and Kozhikode, instead of just metros. (Master stroke may I say?)

  4. Stepwise scale up from week to week. 10 flights every day first week and then 30-50 every day next week.

  5. Indian Embassies working with Air India, with MEA & MHA guiding.

  6. Both Citizens and OCI students accommodated.

Also amazed at the sheer speed with which these things are updated and improved. A friend’s daughter found a small issue with Embassy information form. She wrote back to them with a screenshot and within an hour the form was corrected. She mentioned that it wa pm l time. Kudos to Indian Embassy at Washington for same! (Those who Have similar positive stories, please share on twitter with twitter handles I have used or as comment under this blog.)

As this team continue to scale Some of my suggestions to continuously improve this :

  1. No institutional quarantine at least for female students or for all the students. They should be self-quarantined at home, allowed two walks in their garden (to get sunlight for immunity builder Vitamin D production in body). Their parents should be asked to sign a bond that if they break the quarantine before 14 days, then will be fined INR 200,000. The society office will have to be submitted written notice of their quarantine and can report back to local police.

  2. No institutional quarantine for someone with a Negative CoVid-19 Test or a positive Antibody Test. They can be picked up by the family from Airport.

  3. Quarantine institutions could be hotels with three tiers of affordability- INR 2500, 4500 and INR 7500 per double room per night, with three meals and one snacks included.

  4. Family members can visit the hotel, though through social distancing. Hotels must file negative certificates of their entire crew.

  5. So should the cabs and transport companies for their crews.

Specific to Air India flights, here are few requests/suggestions:

  1. All crew on board must have negative CoViD-19 test certification. They should displayed on the first separation wall near the entrance for passengers to see. Led by example.

  2. Every alternate seat must be kept empty, only families can sit together.

  3. Increase the fresh oxygen addition rate as it improves immunity.

  4. Business class ticket could be $2800 as typically it is double the full economy. Otherwise, these seats can go empty soon, reducing profitability.

Some people have continued their criticism with the mammoth task jointly taken by MHA, MEA and Air India. Ok first, these guys seem to have nothing better to offer. More importantly, they neither understand the scale and complexities of such operations, nor have experience to appreciate the continuous improvements methodology that is being deployed. I was amazed that many things, were being discussed on social media after first draft, just got included and resolved next day. Clearly showing that these organisations, along with Indian Embassy & Consulates are listening and constantly focused on improving the process.

Kudos to you all Corona Warriors, for your efforts! Jay Hind 🇮🇳.

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