Special Correspondent

MANGALORE: Air India will encourage more staffers and retired personnel to be part of its voluntary emergency response team, according to the airline's General Manager (Quality management Services) Harpreet A. De Singh.

The airline presently has 275 trained volunteers, each of whom is called “angel,” Ms. Singh told presspersons here on Saturday. By this year-end, the company could have 1,200 “angels.”

She said the scheme was started about a year ago and she attributed the quick response of the Air India staffers to the May 22 air crash at Mangalore to this initiative. The responsibility of helping each family of the victims and survivors of the tragedy has been assigned to an angel.

She said she has been asked to lead the company's efforts to build an Emergency Response Team.

The staffers willing to be part of the programme and those who can quickly get ready and pack off for areas where their services are required at short notice are being trained. She clarified that the staffers could not expect any additional remuneration for this work.

Ms. Singh said the airline was willing to offer the services of “angels” to other airlines if specific requests were made. “Why not?” was her question when asked about the team's willingness to help emergencies faced by other carriers. “But other carriers may have their own teams.”

She said the airline had recently decided to involve retired personnel also. “This is an opportunity to serve the humanity.”