'Report any unruly behaviour, even if...': Air India CEO Campbell Wilson tells staff
The Air India CEO said, "Most importantly, if any incident on our aircraft involves such serious misconduct, we must report it to authorities at the earliest opportunity, even if we believe the matter has been settled between the parties involved."
Air India asked its employees to report any improper behaviour on its aircraft to authorities at the earliest opportunity, even if the matter appeared to have been settled, amid a row over a passenger urinating on another mid-flight.
Air India CEO Campbell Wilson mentioned the recent incidents in internal communication, saying, "This week has, regrettably, been dominated by media headlines that you are no doubt familiar with. The affected passenger's repulsion is completely understandable, and we share the distress."
"Even though the story is more complicated than has been reported, there are obvious lessons to be learned. Most importantly, if an incident on our aircraft involves such serious misconduct, we must report it to authorities at the earliest opportunity, even if we believe the matter has been settled between the parties involved. The same is true for passengers deemed to be 'unruly,'" Wilson added.
Additionally, the Air India CEO said that the airline staff must also be clear on the standard of behaviour expected on its aircraft and take firm, decisive and timely action against those who do not comply.
Relevant aspects of the Safety & Emergency Procedures Manual will be immediately reiterated by operating departments and reinforced in recurrent training, the CEO continued.
Air India has faced criticism, including from the aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), for how it handled the November 26, 2022, incident in which a business class passenger on a flight from New York to Delhi unzipped and urinated on an elderly female co-passenger.
The airline banned the man from flying for 30 days following an uproar, saying there was 'no further flare-up or confrontation' and 'respecting the perceived wishes of the female passenger, the crew chose not to summon law enforcement upon landing.'
The DGCA expressed its strong disapproval of Air India's actions, calling the airline's behaviour 'unprofessional' and responsible for 'systemic failure.' It has asked for an explanation from officials of the airline and the flight's pilot and crew.