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GAC gets 3,000 Indian crew home from HAL, Princess, Seabourn ships

PHOTO: GAC INDIA CRUISE Crew arrive Mumbai airport (GAC India).jpg
Crew arrive at Mumbai airport
Nearly 3,000 Indian seafarers from Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Seabourn ships are back with their families after being guided through all COVID-19 procedures and delivered to their hometowns by GAC India.

From ships in Sri Lanka, Philippines and Cochin

They included those who had disembarked vessels in Colombo, Sri Lanka; and Manila, Philippines; before being repatriated on chartered flights to Mumbai, Goa and Delhi. The GAC India team also took care of 138 off-signers and one on-signer for a cruise ship in Cochin.

Praise from Holland America Group

Rakesh Nair, head of operations (Holland America Group and Costa) for crewing company Carnival Support Services India, praised GAC’s coordination of the repatriation exercise: 'Excellent relations with nodal officers and other government officials ensured a speedy clearance of our crew at the airport. We have received positive feedback and compliments about your stellar work from our crew. This is true testament of the work that the GAC team has done in bringing our crew back home.'

Agreeing, Ravi Pavade, regional manager, port operations - Western Europe, Africa, Middle East, Indian Ocean, US of Holland America Group said: 'Thanks to seamless execution by the GAC teams, our crew members have returned safely to their hometowns and are reunited with their families.

'Besides the teams on the ground, I know there are many others in GAC who have worked behind the scenes to ensure the safe and prompt repatriation of our nearly 3,000 crew members. This is no small feat, but you have once again proven that you have the capacity and capability to handle projects of such scale.'

The massive crew change project is still under way and GAC India Director Anil K. Menon called it a true test of the company’s astuteness, coordination skills and teamwork — a test it has passed.

Teams in Mumbai, Goa, Delhi, Cochin

'Our teams led by Jayadevan Nair in Mumbai, Joseph Moras in Goa, Jaya Shekar in Delhi and Sajinath M G in Cochin have had to react and respond quickly to evolving situations on the ground. With over 70% of the crew arriving in Mumbai, it was especially challenging for our team in Mumbai,' said. 'Besides coordinating closely with one another, the teams have worked closely with the crewing company and the relevant authorities to bring the seafarers home safely without unnecessary delays.

'We thank these cruise brands for the confidence and trust they placed in us.'

End-to-end arrangements

GAC worked with the crewing agent to handle end-to-end arrangements, including meeting them upon their arrival in India, arranging accommodation for mandatory quarantine, organizing COVID-19 tests, obtaining approvals and departure permissions from the relevant state authorities and making all transfer arrangements including those for their journey home.

GAC India also obtained special clearance from the state nodal offices, district and other relevant authorities to enable two crew members who had to leave for their homes immediately to attend to emergencies without undergoing quarantine. They were moved securely and safely in strict compliance with stipulated guidelines.

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