Air India on Thursday removed director (operations) Captain A.K. Kathpalia from his post, sources said.Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) earlier on February 15 suspended Kathpalia’s license for three months as he failed in Breath Analyser (BA) test on January 19.
Kathpalia was positioned as executive director operations in Air India.As per law, it is mandatory to all pilots to examine pre flight medical check-up before taking flight. “Captain A Kathpalia operated AI DEL-BLR on January 19 without undergoing BA examine test which is contravention to the contain in CAR section-5 series-F part III issue III dated 4 August 2015,” DGCA said in an order.
“Now in exercise of the power delegate under clause (a) of sub rule (3) of Rule 19 of aircraft rule 1937 read with ministry of tourism and civil aviation notification no. so 727 (E) of October 1994 undersigned hereby suspend in public interest the privileges of the pilot license held by captain Kathpalia for a period of three month,” the order added.
Meanwhile, Air India’s performance has improved with competition posed by private players, Chief Economic Advisor said today, but wondered whether the state-owned airline should “exist at all”. The national carrier, staying afloat on a Rs 30,000-crore bailout package from the central government, is working on ways to improve its financial position. In the last fiscal ended March 2016, the airline had posted an operational profit of Rs 105 crore.
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“Air India with IndiGo and Jet Airways is very different from Air India without… Whether Air India should exist at all even with Jet Airways and IndiGo is another question which we don’t want to go into now,” Subramanian said.
The point is competition has actually improved Air India’s performance, he added.