Home india-news ‘Unprofessional’: DGCA pulls up Air India over urination case, issues notices | Latest News India

‘Unprofessional’: DGCA pulls up Air India over urination case, issues notices | Latest News India

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‘Unprofessional’: DGCA pulls up Air India over urination case, issues notices | Latest News India

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India’s aviation regulator pulled up Air India on Thursday, saying its handling of the incident where a passenger urinated on a woman on-board a New York-Delhi flight appears to have been “unprofessional”, “devoid of empathy”, reflected “systemic failures”, and smacked of “dereliction of duty”.

Asking the company why action should not be taken in light of such an apparent conduct, the regulator issued a show-cause notice. The incident came to light on Wednesday: A seemingly inebriated passenger in the business class urinated upon a co-flyer, a woman in her seventies, during a flight on November 26. In the aftermath, the crew allegedly did not act promptly enough to make the situation comfortable for the latter, the victim alleged.

Also Read | Another shocker: Man on Paris-Delhi Air India flight urinated on woman’s blanket

The unruly passenger was on Thursday identified as Shankar Mishra, a senior executive at American multinational firm Wells Fargo, based in Mumbai.

“The conduct of the concerned airline appears to be unprofessional and has led to a systemic failure. Prima facie it lacks appreciation of regulatory obligations as described in applicable Aircraft Rules 1937, Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) on ‘Handling of Unruly Passengers’, Cabin Safety Circular, Air India Operations Manual, Air India Safety and Emergency Procedure Manual and Air India Quick Reference Handbook, and is devoid of empathy,” DGCA stated. Delhi Police, which is probing the matter, said the suspect has not yet been traced and a request has been issued for a lookout circular to be issued.

The DGCA notice sought a response in two weeks from Air India’s accountable manager, director of in-flight services department and the pilots and cabin crew members of Air India flight AI 102 on November 26, when the incident happened. A second similar incident was reported on Thursday where a drunk male passenger urinated on a female passenger’s blanket in Air India’s Paris- Delhi flight on December 6. Air India said it reported the matter as per protocol and the two people involved in the incident reached an understanding when the matter went to the CISF.

In 2017, India issued new norms – known as the Civil Aviation Requirements — barring unruly passengers from flying for a minimum of three months to more than two years depending on the nature of the misdemeanour. The CAR states that an internal committee should decide within 30 days the category level of violation when a passenger has been unruly on a plane. “…it should give the final decision in 30 days by giving the reasons in writing. The decision of the Internal Committee will be binding on the airline concerned. In case the Committee fails to take a decision in 30 days, the passenger will be free to fly”.

An airline circular, ‘Mandatory Reportable Incidents’, issued by Air India on November 10, 2022 states that all cabin crew must report incidents to the cabin supervisor who in turn informs the pilot-in-command.

In this case, the woman had written to Air India chairperson N Chandrasekaran the day after the incident, on November 27, and a detailed complaint to the police was sent only on January 4 – a delay that the company did not explain despite repeated queries.

Police on Thursday said a team was conducting raids to arrest Mishra. According to people aware of the case, the woman passenger sought to initiate action against the man but as he sobered up, the man who urinated on her apologised and pleaded for her to not push the matter further. He stated that he did not want his wife and children to be affected by this incident, this person said.


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