Friday, December 26, 2014

No Violation of Safety Norm or Unfair Seat Allotment, Says Air India

NEW DELHI:  Air India today said its fight safety wing is looking into the allegation of a daughter of a senior pilot resting in a bunk, meant only for use of flight crew members, during one of its flights to Newark from Mumbai recently.

However, it asserted that the incident "did not affect the flight safety of any crew". The airlines also rebutted allegations made by a former cabin crew that one of the airline's pre-booked first class passengers was denied a seat to accommodate a senior bureaucrat during one of its flights from Frankfurt.

KVJ Rao, a union leader and former Air India cabin crew, had alleged in his complaint, lodged with the civil aviation secretary, that a first class passenger was forced to sit in the executive class on one of the national carrier's flight to Delhi from Frankfurt to accommodate a senior bureaucrat last month.

Besides, Mr Rao had also alleged in the complaint that the daughter of a senior Air India pilot violated DGCA norms as she was first allowed to sit on the jump seat and then rest in the bunk during the 14-hour long flight to Newark in the US from Mumbai on December 13.

"The daughter of the captain travelling or resting in a crew seat did not affect the flight safety of any crew as she was resting in the cabin crew rest area where in six business class seats are allotted for cabin crew to rest during the flight," an Air India statement said.

The flight safety department has been asked to look into this issue and submit a report, the statement added.

On the issue of denial of seat, it said, "There was no first class on the said aircraft which was a Dreamliner 787 which operated from Frankfurt to Delhi. The upgrade was based on subject to availability and the said upgraded passenger did not deny any revenue paying passenger of a seat."

"After the closure of the check in, a business class passenger who arrived on a delayed Air Canada flight and missed her connection wanted to urgently travel to India and voluntary agreed to travel economy class since the flight was full," the statement added.

Therefore, the allegation that the officer was bumped up to first class at the expense of the legitimate passenger is totally incorrect, Air India said.


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