The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has imposed a Rs 10 lakh fine on Air India for not reporting the second peeing incident to the regulator and for delay in referring the matter to the airline’s internal committee. In this case, a male co-passenger had allegedly urinated on the vacant seat and blanket of a woman co-passenger on its Paris-Delhi flight of December 6.
Last week, the regulator had fined Air India Rs 30 lakh for violating rules while handling the first peeing incident, when ex-Wells Fargo vice-president Shankar Mishra allegedly urinated on a female co-passenger, on a New York-Delhi flight on November 26.
The regulator had last week also suspended the pilot-in-command of the New York-Delhi flight for three months, and imposed a fine of Rs 3 lakh on the airline’s director of in-flight services for failure to discharge duties.
The second peeing incident came to flight following media reports on January 5, after which the regulator issued a show cause notice to Air India. Under DGCA rules, the airline must inform the regulator of any unruly passenger incident within 12 hours of landing of the aircraft.
The rules also specify that the airline’s internal committee should be informed of the unruly passenger incident so that it can investigate the matter and impose a flying ban on the passenger of anything between three months and 24 months, based on the severity of the incident.
About the second peeing incident, Air India submitted a reply to the show cause notice on January 23 and the same was examined, the DGCA said.
“Enforcement action in the form of financial penalty of Rs 10 lakhs has been imposed on Air India for not reporting the incident to the DGCA and delaying in referring the matter to its internal committee, which is a violation of applicable DGCA Civil Aviation Requirement (Rules),” it added.
Two incidents took place on the Paris-Delhi flight of December 6, as per the regulator. One incident was due to a drunk passenger who was allegedly caught smoking in the lavatory and another incident was the aforementioned one (called the second peeing incident) wherein a male passenger had urinated on the vacant seat and blanket of a female co-passenger.
Mishra, the accused in the first peeing incident, is currently in jail. His case is being heard at the Delhi High Court.