Air India urination row: Pilot, crew of NewYork-Delhi flight grounded
Air India (AI) on Saturday grounded a pilot and four cabin crew members of a New York to Delhi flight over urinating incident in November. The airline also issued a show-cause notice to the onboard staff over the incident which triggered widespread outrage. Meanwhile, the company issued a statement in the aftermath of the incidents saying that the matter could have been handled better.
Why does this story matter?
- While the shocking incident happened on November 26, an FIR in the matter was filed only on January 4, almost 40 days later.
- Notably, the complaint was filed after the woman wrote to Air India parent Tata Sons' Chairman N Chandrasekaran.
- As per the airline, no complaint was filed earlier as the victim rescinded her initial request for Mishra's arrest after reaching a settlement.
Statement by Air India CEO Campbell Wilson
"Four cabin crew and one pilot have been issued show cause notices and de-rostered pending investigation," Air India Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Campbell Wilson said in a statement. "Internal investigations into whether there were lapses by other staff are ongoing on aspects including the service of alcohol on the flight, incident handling, complaint registration on board, and grievance handling," the statement added.
Air India assured 'full cooperation' with affected passenger, investigators
Meanwhile, Air India assured that the firm and its staff will continue to cooperate fully with the impacted passenger, regulators, and law enforcement agencies during the investigation process. "We are committed to providing a safe environment for customers and crew, as well as operating in full compliance with all laws and regulations," the CEO said.
Wilson acknowledged 'matter could have been handled better'
CEO Wilson acknowledged that the matter could have been handled better. "Air India is deeply concerned about the in-flight instances where customers have suffered due to the condemnable acts of their co-passengers on our aircraft," he said. "We regret and are pained about these experiences. We could have handled these matters better, both in the air and on the ground," he added.
What do we know about the incident so far?
The incident happened on November 26 when an alleged inebriated man named Shankar Mishra urinated on an elderly female passenger in business class of an Air India international plane (AI 102) from New York to Delhi. Later, a similar incident happened on an AI flight from Paris to Delhi on December 6 when another man reportedly urinated on the blanket of a female passenger.
Accused Shankar Mishra arrested from Bengaluru
Meanwhile, Shankar Mishra, wanted by the Delhi Police for urinating on the elderly woman on the Air India flight in November, has been arrested from Bengaluru and brought to Delhi. On Friday, the accused was also sacked by his employer Wells Fargo. The American multinational financial services company also stated that the allegations against Mishra were "deeply disturbing."