Netizens on Monday trended #BoycottAirAsiaIndia after YouTube vlogger and pilot Gaurav Taneja a.k.a. Flying Beast claimed that he was suspended for sharing his concerns about the company’s alleged negligence over safety norms. He has raised concerns about alleged series of lapses in the safety regulations of the airlines.
Gaurav Taneja works as a pilot with Air Asia and is a prolific YouTuber with over 2.9 million followers on YouTube. Taneja has shared a video on 14th June, sharing the details on his suspension. He claimed that the company has an unfavourable sick leave policy and added that if the pilot is not feeling 100%, he should not fly as it is a rule that every airline has to follow. However, in his company, he claimed that even if the pilot is not 100% up for the job on any given day, the company would force them to work, which eventually put lives on that plane in danger. “It is like committing murder,” he said.
Taneja said that he raised the complaint with the administration in March this year and sent a written report about the problems with the company’s policies. He also raised his voice over social media about the problems he was facing with the company. However, his actions did not go well with the company and in May, he received an email from airline authorities pointing out his regulatory and lifestyle problems. Later, he received a show-cause notice via email from Air Asia for taking leave on 24th March. The letter mentioned that his actions caused financial loss to the company.
Compromised safety protocols amid Covid-19 pandemic
Taneja, in his video, said that when he flew on 23rd March, he noticed that company was not following safety regulations marked by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Government of India. He tried to sort it out on his level but things did not work out the way they were supposed to. Later on, 24th March, he denied flying, stating lack of safety norms, and on 25th March, India went in complete lockdown that resulted in a complete shutdown of Airline operations, both domestic and international.
Taneja mentioned in the video that during his tenure as a pilot with Air Asia, he raised concerns in the official WhatsApp group numerous times and sent written complaints as well. Still, every ear went deaf as anyone in the administration took no actions he claims. He said, “The airline has money and resources but failed to provide even the smallest things to ensure passengers and airline staff safety. The ‘chalta hai’ attitude in India is a huge problem in the Airline industry.” He added if anything goes wrong in the flight, it would have been his neck on the line, and not the airlines. The first thing airlines do after any problem during the flight is grounding the pilot and, in adverse cases revoking his or her license.
Netizens show support by trending #BoycottAirAsiaIndia
After watching his story, netizens started trending #BoycottAirAsiaIndia and voiced in his support.
Completely agree with you Gaurav on the points shared, we are with you. As a believer of Karma, you should always do the right thing.— Amit Bhawani (@amitbhawani) June 15, 2020
We need to fight for the right and trust me we will eventually win. Don’t feel low, stay positive and stay happy. Respect for standing up.
Whistleblower video of Gaurav @flyingbeast320 -a successful pilot &even more successful vlogger! We hv shared long journeys together from Kanpur schooling to IIT Kgp &can vouch for his integrity. The way @AirAsia has treated him is deplorable. @HardeepSPuri Ji,pls look into this! https://t.co/lnqDmfkhoQ— Rajat Sethi (@RajatSethi86) June 15, 2020
Hope @AirAsia will be adhering to safty norms laid down by @MoCA_GoI @DGCAIndia for passenger safty. Or else people will boycot travelling via @AirAsia. For profit, hope they won’t risk the safety of passengers. https://t.co/E7HH7bM0SR— Matty (@manthan1803) June 15, 2020
Air Asia has not released any official statement in the case yet.