Facing a court case for allegedly turning a blind eye towards safety violations on-board some international Air India flights, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has rapped the national carrier.
Sources said the regulator has told the airline to stop operating flights that are short on cabin crew personnel and questioned it for denying on-board rest to the crew. Subsequently, the airline, on May 16, issued a circular directing the head of flight attendants to strictly adhere to the rules citing the DGCA order.
According to the circular (a copy of which is available with HT) the airline should have at least 12 flight attendants on Boeing 777-200LR aircraft and 15 crewmembers on Boeing 777-300ER fleet. The regulator had found the airline had operated some flights with fewer crew members. Crew count for a flight depends on the size of an aircraft and on number of aircraft doors.
The circular also stated that the crew should be provided rest if the aircraft is equipped with bunk beds. On aircraft without beds, the airline is supposed to reserve some business class seats for the crew, the order stated.
“Although the DGCA order has stopped the violations, the airline has not taken any action against officials responsible for the violations,” said an AI official.