We fell short, Air India should have acted swiftly: Chandra on ‘pee-gate’ | Business Standard News*******

lipped from: https://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/fell-short-matter-of-personal-anguish-tata-boss-on-air-india-pee-gate-123010800416_1.html

“We regret and are pained about these experiences,” Wilson said, adding that the airline was reviewing its policy on serving alcohol

Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran

Air India’s response to the peeing incident on the New York-Delhi flight on November 26 should have been “much swifter”, Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran said on Sunday.

“Air India’s response should have been much swifter. We fell short of addressing this situation the way it should have been,” he said.

According to the elderly woman’s complaint to the Airsewa portal and the Delhi Police, when she told the cabin crew that Shankar Mishra — then a vice-president at American financial services firm Wells Fargo — had urinated on her, the crew forced her to talk to him and negotiate. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on January 5 said the incident was brought to its notice only on January 4.

In his first statement on the matter, Chandrasekaran said, “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.”

The Tata Group and Air India stand by the safety and well-being of our passengers and crew with full conviction, he noted. “We will review and repair every process to prevent or address any incident of such unruly nature,” he added.

Meanwhile, a US-based doctor seated next to the accused in the aircraft told PTI that a drunk person might not be in his senses but the flight crew showed no compassion to female co-passenger and failed in their responsibility.

The doctor said he is speaking out now because of claims by Mishra’s father that his son is innocent and may have been a victim of extortion.

The doctor, who made a handwritten complaint to the airline, said that to make the victim talk to Mishra after the incident was a “no no” because indecent exposure is a crime. “And once that happens, nobody should take a mediation route”, he said.

Wells Fargo on January 6 said it had fired Mishra. After registering an FIR, the Delhi Police arrested him on January 7 from Bengaluru. Air India’s four cabin crew members and one pilot who were on the flight have been issued showcause notices and have been de-rostered pending an investigation, the airline’s Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Campbell Wilson said on Saturday.

Internal investigation into whether there were lapses by other staff were ongoing “on aspects, including the service of alcohol on the flight, incident handling, complaint registration on board and grievance handling”, he added.

“Air India acknowledges that it could have handled these matters better — both in the air and on the ground — and is committed to taking action,” Wilson said, referring to not only the November 26 incident but also the December 6 incident that took place on the airline’s Paris-Delhi flight wherein a male passenger had urinated on the blanket of a female co-passenger.

“We regret and are pained about these experiences,” Wilson said, adding that the airline was reviewing its policy on serving alcohol.

Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia has promised speedy action in the case. “Further action will be taken speedily after the completion of the ongoing proceedings,” Scindia told reporters in Gwalior on Saturday.

The DGCA had on January 5 said the airline violated rules related to the handling of an unruly passenger onboard, and its conduct led to a “systemic failure”. The regulator called Air India “unprofessional” and “devoid of empathy” while dealing with the victim.

The DGCA, therefore, has issued show-cause notices to Air India’s accountable manager, director (in-flight services), pilots, and cabin crew members of the flight on “why enforcement action should not be taken against them for dereliction of their regulatory obligations”.

According to the DGCA’s 2017 rules, unruly behaviour has been categorised under three levels. Level 1 includes physical gestures, verbal harassment, and unruly inebriation, under which the airline can ban the passenger from flying for up to three months. Level 2 includes physically abusive behaviour like pushing, hitting, kicking or sexual harassment, under which the airline can ban the passenger for up to six months.With inputs from PTI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s