HindustanTimes Sat,12 Jul 2014

Crew shortage holds up AI flight at Frankfurt

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, January 09, 2014
First Published: 01:21 IST(9/1/2014) | Last Updated: 02:29 IST(9/1/2014)

About 50 Air India passengers bound from Delhi were held up at the Frankfurt airport on Monday because the aircraft was short on cabin crew.

The airline has benched the flight’s commander Captain Nivedita Bhasin and a flight attendant for the safety lapse.

The problem began when the flight left from Delhi. Sources said that though the minimum cabin crew count for any journey exceeding six hours is nine, the flight left with just eight cabin crew personnel.

According to safety procedures laid down by the directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA), the pilot should not have taken off without the minimum crew compliment. Of the aircraft’s eight doors, one exit was declared “dysfunctional” to make up for staff shortage.

“The rules makes nine crew members mandatory because eight flight attendants man a door each and the cabin crew in charge (CIC) is available to the pilots for assistance. Here, the CIC had to man a door,” said an official.

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