Pee row: AI says action against pilot ‘excessive’ | India News – Times of India



MUMBAI: Air India said on Tuesday that it found the DGCA’s decision to suspend the licence of its airline commander “excessive” in the case of an allegedly drunk passenger urinating on an elderly woman in business class as “in the absence of any witnesses the crew took the complainant’s allegation at face value”. It added that being asked to presume guilt runs contrary to due process. The airline said it will assist the commander in filing an appeal against the order.
An elderly business class woman passenger on board Air India’s November 26 New York-to-Delhi flight had alleged that an intoxicated male passenger had urinated on her.
Separately, in a joint appeal sent on Tuesday to the DGCA, six unions and associations representing Indian pilots and cabin crew requested the revocation of the licence suspension issued to the pilot in command. “Based on this order, crew and staff in uniform are henceforth expected to rigorously engage in warning, restraining and handing over likely innocent passengers merely based on allegations of any nature, or divert aircraft for the same purposes, rather than risk suspension,” it said.
Air India, meanwhile, said, “The crew were approached by the complainant seeking assistance after allegedly being urinated on by a fellow passenger. In the absence of any witnesses, the crew took the complainant’s allegation at face value and assisted her by providing fresh clothes, helping clean her belongings and relocating her to another business class seat of the same type as her original one.”
“When confronted with the allegation, the alleged perpetrator was calm, co-operative and professed ignorance of the allegation. He had not been served excessive alcohol by crew and did not appear intoxicated to the crew,” it said. “The commander was kept regularly informed. In the judgement of the crew, the alleged perpetrator posed no risk to flight safety at any time,” it added.
Air India said it acknowledges that the matter should have been reported as a prima facie case of a passenger “…behaving in a disorderly manner toward… other passengers” as it meets the description of unruly behaviour as listed in DGCA’s civil aviation requirements. Air India said it did not correctly classify the incident and therefore did not report it.





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