The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued a second show-cause notice to Tata-owned Air India for its "lackadaisical" and "delayed" response to two unruly passenger incidents that occurred on its Paris-Delhi flight in December.
This is the second show-cause notice from the aviation regulator to Air India within five days.
"Two incidents of passenger misbehavior occurring on Air India flight AI-142 on November 6, 2022, from Paris to New Delhi came to the notice of DGCA," the notice read. "One passenger caught smoking in the lavatory, was drunk and not listening to the crew. Another passenger allegedly relieved himself on a vacant seat and blanket of a fellow female passenger when she went to the lavatory."
"DGCA has issued Show Cause notice to the Accountable Manager of M/s Air India as to why enforcement action should not be taken against them for dereliction of their regulatory obligations. However, to follow the principles of natural justice, they have been given two weeks time to submit their reply to DGCA and based on that further action will be taken," the regulator said.
All airlines are required to inform the DGCA, within 12 hours of landing of the aircraft, in case of any incident of unruly passengers/passenger rage/passenger misconduct reported in their flight.
The regulator last week slammed Air India for its "unprofessional" conduct in dealing with a female passenger, who was allegedly urinated upon by a co-passenger on a New York-Delhi flight on November 26, 2022. "The conduct of the airline appears to be unprofessional, and has led to systemic failure," the aviation regulator said, while giving the airline two weeks time to submit its reply based on which further action will be taken.
Reacting to this incident, Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran said the airline fell short of addressing the situation the way it should have been. "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. Air India's response should have been much swifter. We fell short of addressing this situation the way it should have been," he said.
Air India managing director and chief executive officer Campbell Wilson acknowledged the airline could have handled these matters better. "Four cabin crew and pilot have been issued show cause notices and de-rostered pending investigation. Internal investigations into whether there were lapses by other staff are ongoing on aspects including the service of alcohol on flight, incident handling, complaint registration on board and grievance handling," Campbell said.
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