Ai Editorial: Travel industry’s acts of kindness stand out during Coronavirus crisis

30th March, 2020

Be it for a hotel chain offering rooms to the homeless people in France or airlines asking staff with medical vocational training to consider helping doctors and other medics are things the entire travel industry can be proud of as the fight against the COVID19 goes on, writes Ai’s Ritesh Gupta


Helping the needy, taking care of the sufferer, offering support to the elderly …any act of kindness amidst all the gloom is what warms our heart to no end.

We all are witnessing, and some of us are even going through, extremely painful moments. And when one ends up being a savior for someone, it’s gladdening and emerges as one moment of happiness that we all can share.

The way the travel industry has contributed during the COVID19 pandemic exemplifies its character.

Airlines are carrying medical supplies globally via cargo flights and operating repatriation flights to get people home.

Ed Bastian, CEO at Delta Air Lines, has not only empathized as a corporate leader, but also a father and family member, as he dwelled on the significance of occasions like graduations and weddings and how his team is trying to make it easier to change or cancel flights with no fee via My Trips on

Delta is extending free flights to medical volunteers to certain U.S. regions impacted by the deadly coronavirus to support medical professionals on the front lines.

Acknowledging the role of air cargo in times of crisis, for instance, in delivering lifesaving medical supplies, many airlines including American Airlines, Lufthansa etc. are utilizing its currently grounded passenger aircraft to move cargo in and out of the country, too. These airlines are making every effort to ensure that the flow of cargo does not stop.

Service in medical facilities

The airline staff is also being counted to meet the shortage of medical personnel. Many airline staff are first aid trained or hold other clinical qualifications.

Lufthansa has shared that employees with medical vocational training can now volunteer for service in medical facilities.

In the U. K., the National Health Service (NHS) has enlisted easyJet and Virgin Atlantic to work alongside NHS clinicians at new Nightingale hospitals as part of the fight against coronavirus.

According to an official release:  The airlines are asking staff who have not been working since the COVID-19 pandemic grounded some planes to consider helping the thousands of doctors, nurses and other medics at the new hospitals being built across the country. easyJet has already written to all 9,000 of its UK based staff, which includes 4,000 cabin crew who are trained in CPR, while Virgin Atlantic will write to approximately 4,000 of their employees this week, prioritizing those with the required skills and training. New hospitals are being built in London, Birmingham and Manchester.

Hotel rooms for homeless people

Accor has acknowledged the fact there is a health crisis in France. Accordingly, the group has chosen to help the healthcare community and deprived people with accommodation solutions in the group’s hotels. Accor has set up a telephone helpdesk to respond quickly to needs and emergency situations. The group is offering a total capacity of 1,000 to 2,000 beds to accommodate homeless people throughout the country. The service is also open to all medical staff involved in the fight against COVID19. So when Sébastien Bazin, Chairman and CEO of Accor Group, says, “Welcoming, protecting and taking care of others is at the very heart of what we do”, he exemplifies how an organization can use its core resources and play its part in coming out of such a perilous situation.

When Bastian says, “Our commitment to you remains…”, these are not only reassuring words for stakeholders but also makes one proud of being a part of this wonderful industry.

Stay safe, stay healthy!