Emirates asks pilots to take unpaid leave as coronavirus threatens industry

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March 18, 2020

Dubai, Mar 18: Emirates, one of the world's biggest international airlines, has asked pilots to take unpaid leave to help it mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic that has shattered demand for global travel.

"To this end you are strongly encouraged to make use of this opportunity to volunteer for additional paid and unpaid leave," the airline said in an internal email to pilots, seen by Reuters.

Emirates earlier this month asked some staff to take unpaid leave, although at that time it was not available to pilots.

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September 11,2020

Bengaluru, Sept 11: A total of 130 taluks in 23 districts of Karnataka have now been declared as the flood hit zones. An order, issued by the Revenue Department (Disaster Management), said that due to very heavy rainfall and floods in the month of August, loss of life, crop loss in large tracts of land, damage to basic facilities and others were reported.

All the taluks of Malnad and coastal districts, which recorded very heavy rainfall in August for the third year in a row, have been declared flood-hit. The torrential downpour had triggered flooding and landslides in parts of Western Ghats, resulting in widespread damages.

The rainfall in Malnad and coastal districts, which are prime catchment areas for rivers originating in Karnataka, had triggered flooding in downstream districts such as Koppal, Ballari, Mysuru and Chamarajanagar, where several taluks were affected. Similarly, districts in which River Krishna passes through, had also faced severe floods, forcing authorities to shift residents from low-lying areas to relief centres.

In North Karnataka region, 14 taluks of Belagavi district, nine taluks each in Kalaburgi and Bagalkot disrtricts, have been declared flood-hit, according to the government order.

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News Network
September 25,2020
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New Delhi, Sept 25: India's COVID-19 case tally crossed the 58-lakh mark with a spike of 86,052 new cases and 1,141 deaths in last 24 hours, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

 

As per the Ministry, the total case tally in the country stands at 58,18,571 including 9,70,116 active cases, 47,56,165 cured/discharged/migrated and 92,290 deaths.

Active COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra were at 2,75,404, Karnataka 95,568, Andhra Pradesh 69,353, Uttar Pradesh 61,300 and Tamil Nadu 46,405.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the cumulative total samples tested up to September 24 is 6,89,28,440. The number of samples tested on September 24 is 14,92,409.

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News Network
September 23,2020

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Sharjah, Sep 23: An Indian expatriate cannot believe that he can finally go home after 20 years, with Dh750,000 of fine waived off by Sharjah authorities.

What's in a name? Even a letter matters, says Thanavel Mathiazhaagan, an Indian worker in the UAE who is set to return home after being granted a waiver of nearly Dh750,000 in overstay fines, reports Gulf News.

The man from the Indian state of Tamil Nadu claims that he could not avail amnesty opportunities in the UAE in the last 20 years as his identity verification was not cleared from India due to a mismatch in his father's name in documents back home and that shown in his passport. As it turns out, there was a spelling error in his father's name in the documents in India.

Mathiazhaagan, 56, said he himself realised this (the reason for not getting the clearance) only after his latest request for repatriation was taken up by two social workers in the UAE after he sought their help to return home during the Covid-19 pandemic.

He told media that he had landed in the UAE in 2000 after paying Rs 120,000 (Dh6,048) to a recruitment agent for a job in Abu Dhabi. This could be verified from the stamp on his employment visa entry permit -- the only document that Mathiazhaagan has preserved, apart from a copy of the last page of his passport.

He said the agent had taken his original passport, claiming that his residence visa would be stamped in the passport once he gets the medical fitness certificate issued.

"I took the medical test and waited for my employment visa. But, the agent kept delaying it and later I got to know that the company, which was supposed to hire me, had shut down." Eventually, he said, the agent stopped answering his calls and could not be traced at all later.

"I stayed in a room with some people from my native place. I lived there for eight months with no job. After that I came to Sharjah and started doing odd jobs."

Mathiazhaagan said he illegally stayed in the UAE to feed his family by doing part-time jobs for various households and companies.

He claimed that he did try for returning home during the previous visa amnesty offers in the UAE and lost more than Dh10,000 to people who promised to help him with clearance of his documents that never came through.

Prior to the fine waiver announced till November 17 this year for people with expired visas or who had their visas cancelled before March 1 during the Covid-19 pandemic, the UAE government had granted visa amnesties in 2003, 2007, 2012 and 2018.

Gulf News could not independently verify if Mathiazhaagan had indeed applied for an emergency certificate (EC), a one-way travel document issued to Indians without a valid passport, in order to facilitate their return home, during the earlier instances of amnesty.

However, A. K. Mahadevan and Chandra Prakash. P, who helped Mathiazhaagan get an EC through the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi, said he had failed to get identity clearance from India during the pandemic. They said they found out the reason behind the rejection only after Mathiazhaagan met Mahadevan, seeking help to return home.

"His name is Thanavel Mathiazhaagan as per the copy of the last page of his lost passport and the UAE entry permit," said Prakash, the Vice-President of Indian People's Forum, a community organisation that also pitched to get a travel clearance for Mathiazhaagan.

"Unfortunately, the documents sent by Trichy Regional Passport Office to the Senthurai Police Station for his identity verification showed his father's name as Thangavel whereas his father's actual name is Thanavel -- according to all other records. The additional letter 'g' in the name created the problem," said Prakash.

The duo said they approached the Indian Embassy and the local departments in Mathiazhaagan's village to rectify the mistake and process his documents. "Indian Ambassador to the UAE Pavan Kapoor took special interest in solving this case after the issue was taken up with him," said Prakash.

Mahadevan said he was happy that Mathiazhaagan would be flying home soon and meeting his youngest daughter, who had not even been born when he left India for the UAE.

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