Cabin Crew | The Matter Of Flying Or Not Flying During Coronavirus Outbreak - Aviation Professional

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Monday, April 6, 2020

Cabin Crew | The Matter Of Flying Or Not Flying During Coronavirus Outbreak


In the normal airline's operation situations, each aircraft is cleared for take-off because the crew has ensured that passengers are seated correctly and the cabin is secured, using their powers of persuasion. Also, Cabin Crew perform face-to-face emotional labor in dealing with the many different types of people on board.
in this article, I will try to address my personal opinion as a previous cabin crew and SMS/DGR senior instructor on the matter of flying or not flying 

In the coronavirus outbreak, working on a plane is a dangerous job. flight attendants are feeling stressed about the likelihood of being infected at work, but their biggest worry is passing the virus on to their family.

Stressed and Fatigued on the Ground and in the Sky: A global study of 116 countries in Africa, Asia/Pacific, Middle East, North America, Latin/South America, and Europe in the post-9/11 era by International Transport Workers’ Federation, Civil Aviation Section, London, United Kingdom, 2009, this research has identified concrete work stressors that may cause stress reactions, fatigue, and burnout. These include high work demands, lack of
opportunities to control important conditions of the job, lack of support from co-workers and supervisors within the workplace, an imbalance between effort put into the job and the rewards received in return, and emotional labor in dealing with the public, clients, passengers, co-workers, supervisors, and management.


On the other hand, study researchers believed that Civil Aviation is a particular industry where the safety and lives of many thousands of people depend on workers in these occupational groups. [ Cabin Crew is one of these groups]. Work-induced stress and fatigue can cause personal coping difficulties and may have adverse effects on both the individual worker’s health and on job performance.

Let us think about the following : 

1- Cabin Crew already feeling stressed, there are no opportunities to control important conditions of the job [ Avoiding getting infected by COVID-19]. 

2- Cabin Crew maybe get infected at work and passing the virus on to their family. there is imbalance between effort put into the job and the rewards received in return.

3- One Cabin crew says "I feel like we're kind of being treated like vessels of disease," said a Seattle-based flight attendant in her mid-30s. "You can feel that people don't want to be near us, especially if we're in uniform. People don't want to get too close to us, passengers during service don't want anything."[ https://www.insider.com/, article by /Sophie-Claire Hoeller Mar 28, 2020]. A Cabin Crew who is responsible for the safety and lives of many thousands of people is treated like vessels of disease. What kind of emotional labor do airlines want cabin crew to show to their customers !!!

4- Jess* is a flight attendant for a US airline and says working during the outbreak has left her feeling "worthless" as passengers fail to cover their mouths when they cough or keep their hands washed.

[passengers who] don't wipe anything down and don't wear any type of face protection, we are angry with them and honestly, they scare us," she says. "I wish we could kick them off [the plane]. They are sick or not feeling well and yet they still travel." ."[ https://www.abc.net.au/news/, article by /By Zoe Osborne, Updated 26 Mar 2020]. There is no health policy to force passengers to cover their mouths when they cough or keep their hands washed. All health policies is aimed at Cabin Crew only. Cabin Crew is a weak chine in this crisis.

5- Preventing Spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), Guideline for Airlines [ Third Edition] by CAAC :

"the crew can use alcohol-based disinfection wipes to clean and disinfect their hands. When the crew is not sure whether their hands are clean, avoid touching the nose, mouth, and eyes with their hands. When sneezing or coughing, one should try to lower the head or turn away from passengers and crew members nearby, and cover the mouth and nose with a tissue or flexed elbow. After touching or disposing of wastes, hands should be cleaned with soap or hand sanitizer under running water followed by hand disinfection. "

The question is if the cabin crew is already infected by COVID-19 [ You can read my previous article
" If the ill person is a crew member. Because flight attendants spend much more time walking down the aisle and interacting with passengers, they are more likely to have additional—and longer—close encounters. As the study stated, a sick crew member has a probability of infecting 4.6 passengers, “thus, it is imperative that flight attendants not fly when they are ill".”

6- If any Cabin Crew is infected he will suffer from fatigue a symptom of the COVID-19 and can not breathe normally this means not able to help in an emergency during flight. Furthermore, Cabin Crew will be the main source of spreading COVID-19 over the world !!


7- "Some attendants working for airlines that require them to clean the cabins told TIME they have taken matters into their own hands, sharing tips on how to get around the weak cleaning agents provided by airlines. The suggestions included homemade cleaning solutions with a higher alcohol content – or, in a pinch, even vodka. Bleach, one member cautioned, would strip the fabric of airline seats. ."[ https://time.com/, article by / Vera Bergengruen , April 3, 2020]."


Behavior show us the coming NEW danger , which is carrying forbidden Dangerous Goods with Passengers and Crew!!

Industry leaders have warned that the COVID-19 outbreak will be worse for airlines than the 9/11 terrorist attacks. My advice that airlines must put the health and safety of its crew members as a top priority, and stop spreading the COVID-19 around the world.

Airlines for sure will be financially impacted because of stopping its operation. On the other hand, airlines will build loyalty and trust between airline management and staff, this helps the airline to set a deduction plan from employee's income during the Coronavirus Outbreak. At the same time, airlines should ask governments for financial support in return of the airline's response to social responsibility., for those airlines continuing operation by forcing cabin crew to fly during Coronavirus Outbreak. If 50% of cabin crew get infected they will lose loyalty, revenue, society trust and not will be able to attract new cabin crew in the future.

No one can tell us that traveling during the coronavirus outbreak is entirely risk-free, regardless of our age, health, or travel destination. The best tip to everyone who wants to make an impact on the coronavirus pandemic is staying home. By visiting with as few people as possible, we limit the chances the virus has to spread either from us or to us. we should avoid flying if you can right now as the virus continues to spread.

Airlines must get learned from Yemen Airways, the way of survival during 6 years of war in Yemen up to now. our Chairman first thing did is to build staff loyalty. In this COVID-19 crisis our staff's union rise a letter to the top management to thank for its decision stop operations to protect our Yemeni society. and give Our Chairman the whole trust to mange the financial impact from our income if necessary  . losing money is simple and acceptable than losing lives.

Instead of cabin crew over the world, I say Airlines [ carrying passengers] must stop flying at least one month till the world get breathing again. You can write you comments below.


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