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Top Air India brass aware of urination incident hours after flight, emails reveal

The top management at Air India had previously claimed that they were not informed about the incident after the flight landed

A crew member onboard the New York-New Delhi flight on November 26 last year had reported the incident of a drunk passenger urinating on a woman co-passenger, to top officials of the airline including its CEO Campbell Wilson, within hours of the flight’s touchdown in the national capital.

According to e-mails accessed by ANI, the Air India cabin crew supervisor had reportedly sent out emails on November 27 at around 1 pm to the head of the Inflight Service Department (IFSD), base operations in India, Lead HR head of IFSD, and head of the northern region of IFSD and of complaints (customer care), informing them about the incident. 

The top management at Air India had previously claimed that they were not informed about the incident after the flight landed, which led to the accused Shankar Mishra walking away without any apprehension or action against him.

Air India chairman and managing director (CMD) Campbell Wilson stated that the airline had constituted an internal committee to probe lapses on part of its crew and address the deficiencies that delayed quick redressal of the situation that occurred after a passenger on board Flight AI-102 allegedly urinated on a woman passenger, was reported to airlines officials soon after landing.

The mail containing the ‘brief summary’ of the incident was also acknowledged with a reply of “Ok, Noted,” at 3.47 Hours. One of the initial emails after the telephonic discussions, accessed by ANI, was sent at 3.46 pm, which was also read and acknowledged by the recipients.

A detailed thread of emails at 7.46 pm the same day also included mails addressed to the head of the ground handling department and the heads of customer service and inflight services.

Moreover, communications also show that Wilson who received an email from the woman passenger’s son-in-law on the same evening had forwarded the mail to the head of customer care calling attention to the mail received by him.

On November 26 last year, a man named Shankar Mishra allegedly urinated on a 70-year-old woman co-passenger in an inebriated condition in business class of an Air India flight, but the incident was not reported to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) which was attributed to the delay in reporting the incident by the airline crew.

Show cause notices were sent not only to the airline and its chiefs but also to the entire crew of the flight.

One of the crew’s responses to the DGCA stated that cabin supervisor-1 made calls to Mahipal Antil, the lead HR head of IFSD, and Neeta Khungar, base manager, Delhi.

This crew’s statement read, “upon landing, when the cabin supervisor- 1 called Antil to understand the way forward to treat the matter, he stated that it was not an incident of “unruly passenger” and that the Captain was correct in not upgrading the passenger to First class.”

One of the responses also stated that the alleged offender (8C) was fast asleep when two cabin crew confronted him and inquired about the incident.

“…he had no recollection of the incident and was completely lost. He said he does not remember anything but was ready to apologise to the lady unconditionally,” the mail read.

As per the mail trail, “He (S Mishra) claimed that he had a two-year-old daughter and the lady was like his mother and he could not think of doing anything like this. Later, the two passengers met near the R2 door (second door to the right) and discussed matters amongst themselves, and reached their own financial compromise. Commander was informed of these developments of the passengers’ own mutual compromise and all developments from time to time as per protocol.”

Taking note of the case, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation imposed a financial penalty of Rs 30 lakh on the airline. The aviation regulator also has suspended the license of the Pilot-In-Command of the flight for the period of three months.

According to the DGCA’s statement, the license of the Pilot-In-Command has been suspended for a period of three months for failing to discharge his duties as per Rule 141 of the Aircraft Rules, 1937, and applicable DGCA Civil Aviation Requirements. And DGCA imposed a Financial Penalty of Rs. 3,00,000/- on Director-in-flight services. 

(This news report is published from a syndicated feed. Except for the headline, the content has not been written or edited by OpIndia staff)

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ANI (Asian News International) is South Asia's leading Multimedia News Agency.

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