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Days after being fined by the aviation regulator over its handling of the 26 November 2022 peeing incident Air India has issued a statement claiming its crew did nothing wrong when the incident came to light. The airline backed the judgment calls taken by the crew who chose to record it as (non-reportable) incident rather than (reportable) case of unruliness after the two sides reached a resolution. It also sided with the accused's claim that there was no ‘proof’ to claims made by the witness despite that crew helped her out.

Air India in its statement says that it has closed its internal investigation into the actions of its crew who were approached by the complaint for assistance following the incident when a passenger had allegedly urinated on the complainant.

Airline claims the crew took the incident at 'face value' despite absence of any witness and helped the complainant by giving her new clothes and cleaned her belongings and relocated her to another business seat.

"In the absence of any witnesses, the crew took the complainant’s allegation at face value and assisted her by providing fresh clothes, helping clean her belongings and relocating her to another business class seat of the same type as her original one," said Air India in its statement.

Air India denied that concerned person was served alcohol by crew. The firm said when confronted, the concerned person was 'cooperative.'

"When awoken and confronted with the allegation, the alleged perpetrator was calm, co-operative and professed ignorance of the allegation. He had not been served excessive alcohol by crew and did not appear intoxicated to the crew," Air India said in a statement.

It further added, ‘He (S Mishra) was co-operative & claiming ignorance of the event, there was no risk to flight safety & that a resolution had been witnessed b/w the parties, crew made a judgement call to record it as (non-reportable) incident rather than (reportable) case of unruliness.’

The airline added that the commander was kept regularly informed by cabin crew and he posed no risk to flight safety at any time," it said.

"Air India acknowledges that, in immediately taking the complainant’s accusation at face value and providing assistance, it follows that the matter should have been reported as a prima facie case of a passenger “…behaving in a disorderly manner toward… other passengers" and, as such, meeting the description of unruly behaviour at paragraph 4.9(d)(ii) of Civil Aviation Requirements, Section 3, Series M, Part VI (the CAR). The matter should have been classified and reported as such, without prejudice to any subsequent investigation into the facts," the statement said.

Air India acknowledges the decision of the DGCA to impose fines on the Company, a ground staff and to suspend the Commander’s license.

As stated above, Air India accepts that, notwithstanding the mitigating circumstances, based on the letter of the CAR it did not correctly classify the incident and therefore did not report it as required. The crew and ground staff have been issued warning letters to henceforth adhere strictly to CAR definition of “unruly" when reporting incidents onboard, so that later investigation can assess the facts. The cabin crew and ground staff have been counselled and have since returned to duty.

The airline says it acknowledges the decision of the DGCA to impose fines on the company,  ground staff and to suspend the Commander’s license.

“As stated above, Air India accepts that, notwithstanding the mitigating circumstances, based on the letter of the CAR it did not correctly classify the incident and therefore did not report it as required. The crew and ground staff have been issued warning letters to henceforth adhere strictly to CAR definition of “unruly" when reporting incidents onboard, so that later investigation can assess the facts. The cabin crew and ground staff have been counselled and have since returned to duty," the statement said.

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