Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Tuesday, January 24 imposed a fine of Rs 10 lakh on Air India for not reporting two incidents of unruly passenger behaviour onboard a Paris-New Delhi flight in December last year. This is the second time in less than a week that the watchdog has taken enforcement action against the airline in connection with unruly passenger behaviour.
In a statement on Tuesday, DGCA said the incidents of passenger misbehaviour occurred on the AI-142 flight from Paris to New Delhi on December 6, 2022. It came to the notice of the regulator only this month. One drunk passenger was caught smoking in the lavatory and not adhering to the crew instructions, and another passenger allegedly relieved himself on a vacant seat and blanket of a fellow female passenger when she went to the lavatory, it said.
"Enforcement action in the form of a financial penalty of Rs 10,00,000 has been imposed on Air India for not reporting the incident to DGCA and delaying in referring the matter to its Internal Committee, which is a violation of applicable DGCA Civil Aviation Requirements," the statement said.
For the incidents, the DGCA earlier this month issued a show cause notice to the accountable manager of Air India as to why enforcement action should not be taken against them for dereliction of their regulatory obligations. The airline submitted its reply to the show cause on January 23. DGCA took the decision on the financial penalty after examining the response.
On January 20, DGCA imposed a penalty of Rs 30 lakh on Air India as well as suspended the license of the pilot-in-command of the New York-Delhi flight in which a person allegedly urinated on a female co-passenger. In the incident, which happened on November 26, 2022, the watchdog has also slapped a fine of Rs 3 lakh on Air India's Director of in-flight services for failing to discharge her duties.