Air India Fined Rs 30 Lakh After Passenger, Not Given Wheelchair, Dies

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Air India Fined Rs 30 Lakh After Passenger, Not Given Wheelchair, Dies

Air India has been fined Rs 30 lakh after a 80-year-old passenger died at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport while walking from the plane to the terminal as he was not provided a wheelchair. The incident took place on February 16.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) took swift action, issuing a show-cause notice to Air India, demanding a response within seven days. After reveiwing the response, the regulator found Air India guilty and imposed a fine of Rs 30 lakh.

The airline said that the passenger’s wife had been provided a wheelchair and staff had asked him to wait while they arranged another one. But he instead chose to walk to the terminal with his wife.

“One of our guests flying from New York to Mumbai on 12th February fell ill while proceeding to clear immigration with his wife, who was in a wheelchair. 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,” Air India said.

Upon examination, DGCA found that Air India had not complied with the norms which specifically addresses the “Carriage by Air – Persons with Disability (Divyangjan) and/or Persons with Reduced Mobility.” This failure to adhere to the regulations outlined in Aircraft Rules, 1937, prompted the fine on the airline.

The DGCA has also issued an advisory to all airlines stressing the need to ensure an adequate number of wheelchairs for passengers requiring assistance during embarking or disembarking from the aircraft.

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