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Air India fined Rs 30 lakh as passenger dies without wheelchair

Written by  Annesha Barua -- February 29th 2024 02:36 PM
Air India fined Rs 30 lakh as passenger dies without wheelchair

Air India fined Rs 30 lakh as passenger dies without wheelchair

PTC News Desk: Air India faces a hefty fine of Rs 30 lakh following the tragic death of an 80-year-old passenger at Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport. The incident occurred on February 16, when the elderly passenger, deprived of a wheelchair, had to walk from the plane to the terminal, resulting in his demise.

Prompt action was taken by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), which issued a show-cause notice to Air India, demanding a response within seven days. Upon reviewing the airline's response, the regulator found Air India culpable and imposed the hefty fine.

According to Air India, the passenger's wife was provided with a wheelchair, and the staff had assured the passenger they would arrange another one for him. However, he chose to walk alongside his wife instead. In its statement, Air India clarified, "Due to heavy demand for wheelchairs, we had requested the passenger to wait till he was also provided with wheelchair assistance, but he opted to walk along with his spouse."

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The DGCA's investigation revealed that Air India had failed to comply with the established norms outlined in the "Carriage by Air - Persons with Disability (Divyangjan) and/or Persons with Reduced Mobility." This non-compliance with the regulations set forth in the Aircraft Rules, 1937, led to the imposition of the substantial fine on the airline.

In addition to the fine, the DGCA has issued a crucial advisory to all airlines, emphasising the necessity of ensuring an adequate number of wheelchairs for passengers requiring assistance during embarkation or disembarkation from aircraft.

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(Inputs from agencies)


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