Saturday, April 2, 2016

India reevaluates why it’s keeping pregnant pilots grounded

Neelam Mathews
Apr 1, 2016

NEW DELHI: A few years ago a passenger on an Indian budget carrier caused an uproar on learning that the captain was a woman. “I don’t want to die. She can’t take care of the house, how will she take care of a plane?” he reportedly yelled. Rightfully, he was deplaned. While his knuckle-dragging tribe may have decreased trivially since then, one wonders what the passenger’s reaction would have been if he knew the captain was pregnant. One would assume he would have been scandalized that she had deigned to fly.
While Qatar Airways last year changed its draconian restrictions on cabin crew concerning marriage and pregnancy, in India the discussion is focused on when the pilot should stop flying when pregnant. Nivedita Bhasin, the third woman pilot to join then government-owned Indian Airlines, now part of Air India, has two children, both pilots. In the last 30 years, she said, the pilot maternity situation in India has remained status quo. “The day a doctor informs you of your pregnancy, you cannot fly. India needs to update its rules in line with global practices. It is accepted worldwide [that] the second trimester is safe, but not in India.”
This was confirmed by SpiceJet general manager Ajay Jasra who told RGN that pilots are taken ....Read more on

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