Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran on Sunday admitted that Air India fell short of addressing the incident in which an inebriated male flier urinated on an elderly woman co-passenger on the New York-Delhi November 26 flight.
“The incident has been a matter of personal anguish to me and my colleagues at Air India. The response should have been much swifter,” Chandrasekaran said.
Air India, which was taken over by the Tata Group a year ago, said on Saturday that it has de-rostered and issued show-cause notices to four cabin crew and one pilot who were on duty on the long-haul AI102 flight on that day. The crew of that flight as well as the airline have come under fire for failing to handle the situation.
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“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 added.
Shankar Mishra, the former Well Fargo employee, who is accused of urinating on the elderly woman passenger, was sent to a 14-day judicial custody by a Delhi court on Saturday after he was arrested from Bengaluru by the Delhi police on Friday.
Air India has already launched an internal investigation into whether there were lapses by other staff on aspects such as the service of alcohol on flight, incident handling, complain registration on board and grievance handling.
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Air India has claimed to have initiated steps to strengthen and improve how such incidents would be addressed in future. The airline will review serving of alcohol in flight, deploy iPads to pilots and senior cabin crew to report incidents electronically and review the meeting frequency of the DGCA-prescribed “internal committee”, which is tasked with assessing incidents.
Internal committee comprises a retired judge, a representative from a passengers’ association and a representative from another Indian commercial airline.