Air India pilots’ body IPG is considering legal recourse and other options, regarding aviation regulator DGCA suspending the licence of the pilot-in-command of the flight where a passenger allegedly urinated on a female co-passenger onboard last November.
A senior member of the Indian Pilots Guild (IPG), which represents the airline’s pilots who fly wide-body planes, said it will take up the issue of suspension of the pilot concerned strongly.
The urination incident happened onboard New York-Delhi flight on November 26, 2022 and it came to the notice of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) only on January 4.
For various violations, DGCA, on Friday, imposed a fine of Rs 30 lakh on Air India, Rs 3 lakh penalty on the airline’s director of in-flight services and suspended the licence of the pilot-in-command for three months.
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”We are considering all options, including taking legal action for the pilot’s licence suspension. We are talking to our lawyers on the issue and will soon take a call,” the IPG member told PTI on the condition of anonymity.
The member claimed that the pilot concerned had acted very maturely. ”It has all been reported to the company at that time. If after all of this you still think that the pilot has not acted, then we need to understand what you are talking about and why you find him at fault.” The member also alleged that there is a lot of ”pressure to find a scapegoat in the entire case.
There was no immediate comment from Air India.
According to reports, Air India’s senior management was informed about the urination incident hours after the flight landed on November 26.
The incident of passenger misbehaviour occurred on AI-102 flight from New York to Delhi on November 26 last year, wherein a male passenger conducted himself in a disorderly manner and allegedly relieved himself on a female passenger, according to DGCA.
The watchdog had issued show cause notices to Air India’s Accountable Manager, Director in-flight services, all the pilots and cabin crew members of that flight as to why enforcement action should not be taken against them for dereliction of their regulatory obligations.
DGCA examined the written replies of Air India and the personnel involved, and decided on the enforcement actions.