On Monday, the senior officials of Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) informed that a probe has been launched against Air Asia, following allegations of negligence by pilot and YouTuber Gaurav Taneja aka the Flying Beast. In a Twitter post, DGCA said that the aviation regulator took cognisance of the matter and the approach of the airline towards safety protocols. It assured to take appropriate action based on the outcome of the investigation.
DGCA has taken note of the concerns raised by some stakeholders against a particular Airline and its approach to safety. DGCA has already started an investigation into the issues flagged and shall take appropriate action based on the outcome of the said investigation.— DGCA (@DGCAIndia) June 15, 2020
“Air Asia India stands firmly on its value of ‘safety always’. The safety of our guests is of paramount importance in every aspect of our operations. AirAsia India is cognizant of the matter in regard to a social media post put up by one of its employees”, an Air Asia spokesperson was quoted as saying. The official informed that the airlines was co-ordinating with the DGCA in the probe but added that it did not want to comment on its business or its employees.
Allegations against Air Asia by Gaurav Taneja
Gaurav, in his YouTube vlog claimed that Air Asia had directed its pilots do land the flights via ‘Flap 3 mode’, as it is cost-effective. He claimed that such targets can risk the life of passengers, especially while landing on steep runways. However, the company allegedly considers not meeting the 98% target as a violation of Standard Operating procedures (SOPs). Taneja cited the example of Imphal airport and highlighted that the drag has to be higher for a slow landing.
He added that only a ‘full flap’ landing is feasible and safe in such cases but the company is indifferent to safety protocols. “In order to achieve targets, what would people do? They will do Flap 3 landings without giving consideration whether it is safe or unsafe. This directly impacts the passenger safety,” he was quoted as saying. Gaurav said that the airlines will make him the scapegoat, in case of a misfortune.
Airlines undermining pilot’s health
He has raised concerns about the alleged series of lapses in the safety regulations of the airlines. 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. Gaurav 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.” Netizens on Monday trended #BoycottAirAsiaIndia after the YouTube vlogger claimed that he was suspended for sharing his concerns about the company’s negligence over safety norms.