IndiGo CEO Ronojoy Dutta expressed regret over the incident that happened at the Ranchi airport, and offered to buy an electric wheelchair for the boy as a "small token of our appreciation".

IndiGo denies boarding to child with disability, DGCA orders probeImage Credit: MANISHA GUPTA/FACEBOOK
news Aviation Monday, May 09, 2022 - 19:16

India's aviation regulator DGCA has formed a three-member team to conduct a "fact-finding enquiry" into IndiGo barring a child with a disability from boarding a flight from Ranchi to Hyderabad as he was in a "state of panic", officials said on Monday, May 9. "They will visit Ranchi and Hyderabad (place of stay of the family concerned) and collect appropriate evidence within one week from today. Based on the outcome of the said enquiry, further action shall entail," the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) noted in a statement.

The regulator said it has received a report from IndiGo regarding Saturday's incident. However, in view of the facts and circumstances described therein, the regulator has decided to conduct a fact-finding enquiry, which shall be done by its three-member team, it mentioned. 

As the boy was prohibited from boarding the airline's Ranchi-Hyderabad flight on Saturday, his parents -- who were with him -- also decided to not enter the plane. IndiGo CEO Ronojoy Dutta has expressed regret over the incident that happened at the Ranchi airport. Dutta also offered to buy an electric wheelchair for the boy as a "small token of our appreciation" for the lifelong dedication of his parents to taking care of a person with a disability.

Read: IndiGo denies boarding to child with disability, faces widespread backlash

In a statement issued on Monday, Dutta said, “Having reviewed all aspects of this incident, we as an organisation are of the view that we made the best possible decision under difficult circumstances." He added, “Throughout the check-in and boarding process, our intent of course was to carry the family. However, at the boarding area, the teenager was visibly in panic.”

“While providing courteous and compassionate service to our customers is of paramount importance to us, the airport staff, in line with the safety guidelines, were forced to make a difficult decision as to whether this commotion would carry forward aboard the aircraft,” he stated. “We recognise too well that parents who dedicate their lives to the caring of physically challenged persons are the true heroes of our society,” he said.

“We offer our sincere regrets to the affected family for the unfortunate experience and as a small token of our appreciation of their lifelong dedication would like to offer to purchase an electric wheelchair for their son,” he added. “All of us at IndiGo are truly distressed by this particular incident,” Dutta mentioned.

“Since April 2022, we have carried over 75,000 specially-abled passengers aboard our airline and our crew and airport staff are trained to serve such passengers sensitively,” he said.

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