New Delhi, February 29: DGCA imposed a fine of Rs 30 lakh on Air India in connection with the incident of not providing wheelchair assistance to an 80-year-old passenger who collapsed and died after walking from the plane to the terminal in Mumbai airport.

The incident occurred on February 12, upon the arrival of Air India flight AI-116 from New York. Patel, accompanied by his 76-year-old spouse, Narmadaben Patel, had booked two wheelchairs for assistance. However, upon disembarkation, only one wheelchair was available, leaving Patel to walk alongside his wife, who was aided by the lone wheelchair. DGCA Slaps Rs 1.10 Crore Fine on Air India Over Safety Violations of Flights Operated by Airline.

A senior Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) official informed that the matter was examined and a Show Cause Notice was issued to Air India for not complying with the provisions of CAR SECTION 3, SERIES 'M', PART I on "Carriage by Air: Persons with Disability (Divyangjan) and/or Persons with Reduced Mobility," which is a violation of the Aircraft Rules, 1937. Accordingly, a financial penalty of Rs 30 lakh has been imposed on Air India as per Aircraft Rules, 1937, for violating the provisions of the aforementioned Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR) regulations. Air India’s New Boeing 737 MAX Aircraft To Be Equipped With RTX Collins Aerospace’s Advanced Avionics Hardware Suite: Report.

An advisory has also been issued to all airlines to ensure that an adequate number of wheelchairs are available for passengers who require assistance while embarking or disembarking from the aircraft during their journey. Air India submitted its response on February 20, 2024, in which the airline informed that the elderly passenger opted to walk alongside his wife, who was also in a wheelchair, rather than wait for another wheelchair.

The DGCA said that the airline failed to show compliance with the CAR as it did not provide wheelchair to the elderly passenger. Further, Air India did not inform about any action taken by the airline against the erring employee(s), and the airline also failed to submit any corrective actions taken to prevent the recurrence of such incidents in the future.