Less than a week after the aviation watchdog warned Air India against violating air safety rules, the national carrier has allegedly continued to break rules.
According to a complaint filed by the All India Cabin Crew Association (AICCA) to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Thursday, the airline has been deputing cabin crew below the mandatory count on its US-bound long haul flights despite the regulator’s warning.
“The airline has continued to violate rules without fear, leading us to believe that the management can circumvent rules laid down by the DGCA,” read the complaint.
On March 18, the DGCA had ordered the airline to stop such violations.
The letter written by DGCA’s joint director general AK Sharan to AI’s chairman and managing director Arvind Jadhav reads, “It has come to our notice that Air India has been regularly exceeding flight duty timings limitations and crew compliment on long haul flights citing waiver given by DGCA. In some cases it was found that no such concessions were granted by the DGCA’s office. This is a serious matter that concerns air safety, so it has been decided that henceforth, no officer other than the director general will be authorised to give special concessions.”
However, the crew has alleged that the airline has ignored the warning. The AICCA has cited three instances of violations that took place after the DGCA issued the warning.
It claims that the Delhi-Chicago flight on March 27 was operated with 14 instead of the required 15 crew members.
On March 30, the same flight was operated with 12 cabin crew members. On the same day, the airline’s Delhi-New York flight also was operated short of four crew members.
The Air India spokesperson did not comment on the matter. DGCA chief Bharat Bhushan was not available for comment.