Sunday, January 08, 2023

Could have handled the situation better: Air India CEO Campbel

Acknowledging that Air India could have handled the November 26 incident better earlier, its CEO Campbell Wilson on Saturday regretted the situation, adding the airline has removed one pilot and four cabin crew members from the roster.

“Internal investigations into whether there were lapses by other staff are ongoing on aspects, including the service of alcohol on the flight, incident handling, complaint registration on board and grievance handling. As a responsible airline brand, we have initiated the following steps with a view to materially strengthen and improve how such incidents would be addressed in future,” Wilson said in a statement.

Wilson was referring to the incident onboard AI 102 – operating between New York and New Delhi – where a passenger relieved himself on a fellow woman passenger in an inebriated condition.

The accused – Shankar Mishra – was arrested by the Delhi Police on Saturday. Air India filed a police complaint on December 28 – over a month after the incident – and the police lodged an FIR on January 4.

Wilson clarified that the airline continues to support the affected passengers and ensure their well-being.

He highlighted that the airline received the complaint on November 27 and commenced correspondence with the affected passenger’s family on November 30.

A ticket refund was initiated on December 2 “with receipt of funds acknowledged by the victim’s family on December 16”.

The airline initiated the DGCA-prescribed “Internal Committee”, tasked with assessing incidents and which comprises a retired judge, a representative from a passengers’ association, and a representative from another Indian commercial airline, on December 10. The file was passed to the Committee on December 20, and a 30-day interim travel ban on Mishra was imposed on the same date, the CEO said in the statement.

The statement added that the airline “convened four meetings between senior Airline staff, the victim and her family on December 20, December 21, December 26 and December 30, 2022, to discuss actions being taken and the progress thereof”.

“When the victim’s family requested Air India lodge a police report during the meeting on December 26, it did so on December 28 2022,” the statement read.

08/01/23 Indian Express

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