DGCA raps Air India for not facilitating passengers who were denied boarding
In June, 2022, the DGCA imposed a fine of Rs. 10 lakh after inspections revealed that the airline was not complying with relevant rules
New Delhi: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has pulled up Air India for the second time in less than 18 months for not providing adequate facilities to passengers who were denied boarding.
The aviation regulator, on Tuesday, said that it has issued a show cause notice to the airline after their inspections revealed that the airline, yet again, did not facilitate the impacted passengers as per rules.
In June, 2022, the DGCA imposed a fine of Rs. 10 lakh after inspections revealed that the airline was not complying with the rules.
“In order to ensure compliance of passenger-centric CARS (civil aviation regulations), DGCA carried out inspections of scheduled domestic airlines at various major airports on a continuing basis since May 2023,” the DGCA said.
“During the inspections of the airlines, it was observed that Air India was not complying with the provisions of the relevant CAR. Accordingly, a show cause notice has been issued to Air India seeking their response for non-compliance to the provisions of the CAR,” it added.
Air India refused to comment on the matter.
The regulator said that the move was taken to ensure appropriate protection for air travellers in case of flight disruptions. It also said that the step has been taken as it is imperative to “continuously strengthen the rights of the passengers” and ensure that the airlines operate under harmonised conditions in line with best global practices.
“It may be recalled that similar inspections had earlier been carried out at major airports last year also and on ground of similar non-compliance by Air India with the provisions of CAR on Denied Boarding of passengers, a penalty of Rs. 10,00,000 was imposed on Air India for the violations,” the regulator said.
It had issued CAR Section-3, Series M part IV titled “Facilities to be provided to passengers by airlines due to denied boarding, cancellation of flights and delays in flights” in 2010 (which has been revised since) to ensure appropriate protection for air travellers in case of flight disruptions and, in particular, denied boardings, flight cancellations and delays.
According to DGCA’s CAR notified in 2016, an airline is not required to pay any compensation to passengers if an alternative flight is arranged within an hour of the scheduled departure.
However, in case the airline arranges for an alternative flight within 24 hours of denial of boarding, it must pay 200% of the booked one-way basic fare plus airline fuel charge subject to a maximum of Rs. 10,000.
If the alternative flight is scheduled to leave more than 24 hours after the scheduled departure of the original flight, the airline is liable to pay 400% of the booked one-way basic fare plus airline fuel charge subject to a ₹20,000 cap.