Air India ‘peegate’: CEO says mulling ban on alcohol services in flight after Shankar Mishra fiasco

Air India CEO Wilson Campbell said in a statement that the airline is reviewing its policy of serving alcohol to passengers on flights after the urination case. The decision comes after a passenger Shankar Mishra got inebriated on the airline’s plane and urinated on a septuagenarian co-passenger. The airline also grounded the crew members and the pilot of the plane for not handling the incident properly. Along with this, the CEO of the Tata-owner airline apologized to the passengers after the incident and promised to cooperate in the investigation.

In his statement, Wilson Campbell said, “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. We regret and are pained about these experiences.”

Also read: Air India urination case: Delhi Police arrests Shankar Mishra from Bengaluru, first picture out

Air India acknowledges that it could have handled these matters better, both in the air and on the ground, and is committed to taking action.” With questions about the airline not immediately reporting the unruly passenger to law enforcement authorities, he advised staff to report all incidents irrespective of a settlement being reached.

“In the instance of the incident onboard AI-102 operating between New York and Delhi on November 26, 2022, four cabin crew and one pilot have been issued show cause notices and de-rostered pending investigation,” he said, adding internal investigations into whether there were lapses by other staff are ongoing.

The airline is investigating aspects including the service of alcohol on the flights, incident handling, complaint registration on board, and grievance handling.

As a responsible airline brand, Air India has commenced a comprehensive education programme to strengthen crews’ awareness of and compliance with policies on the handling of incidents and unruly passengers with a view to materially strengthen and improve how such incidents would be addressed in future. The airline is reviewing “policy on service of alcohol in flight,” he said without elaborating.

Also, it is reviewing the meeting frequency of the DGCA-prescribed ‘Internal Committee’, tasked with assessing incidents, so that cases are assessed and decisions reached in a more timely manner.

“To improve the robustness of its legacy incident reporting processes, which are presently paper-based and manual, Air India signed a Letter of Intent in December 2022 to acquire a license for the market-leading provider of incident management software, Coruson,” he said

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