Report improper behaviour during flights promptly: Air India CEO to staff- QHN

Air India Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Campbell Wilson on Friday described the urination incident on its New York-Delhi flight as “complicated” and asked the airline’s employees to promptly report all serious incidents inside an aircraft to authorities.

The airline’s chief of operations, R S Sandhu, listed a set of instructions for pilots and cabin crew to check unruly behaviour following a Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) advisory to all airlines. The civil aviation regulator, too, issued an advisory to airlines, reiterating measures that can be taken to control unruly acts. These actions are a fallout of the incident on Air India’s New York-Delhi flight on November 26 during which a man, in an inebriated condition, allegedly urinated on an elderly woman passenger.

The accused, Shankar Mishra, is on the run and his service has been terminated by his employer Wells Fargo, a US-headquartered bank. Wells Fargo has an aviation finance business and has in the past acted as security trustee for lenders and lessors who financed Air India’s aircraft.

In his email to employees, Wilson said, “If an incident on our aircraft involves improper behaviour of such magnitude, we must report it to authorities at the earliest opportunity, even if we genuinely believe that the matter has been settled between the parties involved. The same applies in the case of passengers deemed to meet the threshold of “unruly”,” Wilson said.

“We must also be clear on the standard of behaviour that is expected on our aircraft and take firm, decisive and timely action against those who do not comply,” he added.

Sandhu, in his set of instructions for the crew, said, “Be assertive while dealing with disruptive or unruly guests and do not accept any unsocial behaviour. Identify the potential disruption and communicate to cabin supervisor and keep pilot in command informed,” he said. He also instructed the crew to follow laid-down procedure of handing over the disruptive guest to regulatory authorities on arrival.

The DGCA’s advisory stated, “Non-action/omission by the airlines towards such untoward incidents has tarnished the image of air travel in different segments of society,” the DGCA said. The two-page advisory lists responsibilities of pilots, cabin crew and cabin safety in-charge of an airline. It lists out a set of steps that crew must do to defuse a situation from escalating. “Applying restraining devices should be used when all conciliatory approaches have been exhausted,” the DGCA advisory said.

Wells Fargo terminates employee

Wells Fargo said on Friday it had terminated the services of the accused, Shankar Mishra, and was cooperating with local law enforcement. “Wells Fargo holds employees to the highest standards of professional and personal behaviour and we find these allegations deeply disturbing. This individual has been terminated from Wells Fargo,” the US multinational firm said in a statement.

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