Acting on the urination incident onboard an Air India New York-Delhi flight last November, the flag carrier on Saturday issued show cause notices and de-rostered four cabin crew and a pilot pending investigation.
Air India has also initiated internal investigations into whether there were lapses by other staff on other aspects, including the service of alcohol on flight, incident handling, complaint registration and grievance handling.
In a statement, Campbell Wilson, the CEO and Managing Director of Air India, said: "Air India is deeply concerned about the in-flight instances where customers have suffered due to the condemnable acts of their co-passengers on our aircraft. We regret and are pained about these experiences.
"Air India acknowledges that it could have handled these matters better, both in the air and on the ground and is committed to taking action."
The CEO said that the airline has initiated multiple steps with a view to materially strengthen and improve how such incidents would be addressed in future, which includes commencing a comprehensive education program to strengthen crews' awareness of and compliance with policies on the handling of incidents and unruly passengers, and to better equip crew to empathetically assist those affected, review of the airline policy on service of alcohol in flight and review the meeting frequency of the DGCA-prescribed "Internal Committee", tasked with assessing incidents, so that cases are assessed and decisions reached in a more timely manner.
The steps also include improving the robustness of its legacy incident reporting processes, which are presently paper-based and manual, Air India signed a Letter of Intent in December 2022 to acquire a license for the market-leading provider of incident management software, Coruson.
In addition to this state-of-the-art software, the airline is also in the process of deploying iPads to Pilots and Senior Cabin Crew.
When used together, crew will be able to enter voyage and incident reports electronically, which will then be rapidly and automatically routed to relevant parties including, as required, the Regulator.