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Air India incident – the airline takes some action




This was probably the last thing that Air India needed. Air India has already been in the news because of the constant losses that have totally eroded its net worth (compared to private airlines that have suffered losses, but are still plodding through). It has been widely reported that these losses are aggravated because of many faulty government policies such as giving away profitable routes, paying huge money for aircraft leases even though these aircraft have not been utilized, and further, Air India has an inflated staff strength that is bleeding the airline, and a combination of politics and unions have prevented some trimming of this expense. And now the Government is looking to pump huge money into the airline for purchase of new aircraft.
The airline hardly needed to make more negative news, and that too news of the weird kind. Imagine being in the air, at top cruising altitude, at midnight, and suddenly you see the polite crew and the pilots fighting with each other, screaming at each other, and even physically fighting with each other. The first reaction would be of sudden bewilderment, followed by apprehension and anxiety. And you would be so thankful when the flight finally landed. And the next day, the papers were all full of this fight, including charges of molestation, harassment, being rude, and so on. And the lady then goes off and files complaints using the various instruments available with her – accusing the pilots of molestation, and going to the National Commission for Women to highlight her plight.

Now, the saga continues with the pilot and the purser being suspended for this fight (link to article):

Air India on Tuesday suspended Commander Ranbir Arora and Flight Purser Amit Khanna after an enquiry panel held them guilty of playing a major role in the mid-air scuffle that led an air hostess of the flight to lodge a molestation case with the police. Komal and Chopra would continue to remain de-rostered till this committee, which would also include an NGO representative, completes its enquiry.
While the “attitude” of the flight purser led to the altercation which later blew up into a scuffle, the behaviour of the flight’s commander Arora, who pushed the air hostess out of the cockpit, was “objectionable”, the probe panel found. On the basis of the findings of the enquiry committee, the Air India management, after examining the probe report, decided to suspend Arora and Khanna and issue charge sheets against them as per company rules, the spokesperson said.




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