Air India incident: Airline should’ve acted swiftly, says Tata chairman
“The incident on Air India flight AI102 on November 26th, 2022, has been a matter of personal anguish to me and my colleagues at Air India. We fell short of addressing this situation the way it should have been,” Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran said.
Air India’s response to the incident pertaining to a man urinating on a fellow passenger should have been much swifter, a statement by Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran said on Sunday.
Tata Sons took over the previously government-run airline in January last year.
“The incident on Air India flight AI102 on November 26th, 2022, has been a matter of personal anguish to me and my colleagues at Air India. We fell short of addressing this situation the way it should have been,” Chandrasekaran said.
On November 26, an inebriated flyer urinated on a woman co-passenger in the business class of a New York-Delhi flight. The incident came to light last Wednesday. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) pulled up the airline on Thursday, calling its handling of the matter “unprofessional” and “devoid of empathy”.
A similar incident occurred last month on an Air India flight from Paris to Delhi, and an incident of a drunk passenger attempting to touch a minor girl inappropriately was reported on board a Mumbai-London flight on September 5.
“The Tata Group and Air India stand by the safety and well-being of our passengers and crew with full conviction. We will review and repair every process to prevent or address any incidents of such unruly nature,” Chandrasekaran said.
His statement came a day after Campbell Wilson, the Air India chairman and managing director, said the airline had de-rostered one pilot and four cabin crew members and was reviewing its alcohol serving policy.
Wilson said the airline was also reviewing the meeting frequency of the DGCA-prescribed internal committee tasked with assessing various issues. He said the airline was starting a comprehensive education programme to strengthen its crew’s compliance with policies on “the handling of incidents and unruly passengers, and to better equip them to empathetically assist those affected”.
Delhi police arrested Shankar Mishra, the passenger who urinated on a senior citizen on the New York-Delhi flight, from Bengaluru and produced him at a Patiala House court. Mishra was sent to judicial custody for 14 days. His services were terminated by US-headquartered multinational Wells Fargo over the incident.