Air India Penalized Rs3 Million for Elderly Passenger Tragic Death due to lack of wheelchair

Tragically, an elderly customer needed wheelchair assistance during a flight from Mumbai airport, and Air India was fined Rs3 million for failing to offer it.

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On February 12, after Air India flight AI-116 had landed from New York, an 80-year-old passenger named Mr. Patel fell and died as he walked off the plane to the airport. When Mr. Patel and his 76-year-old wife disembarked, only one of the two wheelchairs they had ordered was available. Since there was only one wheelchair available, Mr. Patel had no choice but to walk with his wife.

In response to this unfortunate event, an advisory has been issued to all airlines, emphasizing the importance of ensuring an adequate number of wheelchairs for passengers requiring assistance during embarkation and disembarkation. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) took note of the matter and issued a Show Cause Notice to Air India for failing to comply with regulations regarding assistance for persons with disabilities or reduced mobility.

As a result, the Aircraft Rules of 1937 imposed a fine of Rs 3 million on Air India. The DGCA determined that Air India had violated regulations, even though the airline had responded by saying that the elderly man preferred to walk with his wife instead of waiting for another wheelchair. In particular, the airline failed to supply the wheelchair as asked for, and it did nothing to address the situation, punish the guilty employee, or ensure that nothing like this would happen again.

This incident underscores the importance of ensuring the safety and well-being of all passengers, especially those with mobility issues. Airlines must adhere to regulations and guidelines to provide necessary assistance to passengers in need, and swift corrective actions should be taken to prevent similar occurrences in the future.

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