Air India has been blasted as “unprofessional” and “devoid of empathy” over its handling of one of two recent incidents that saw male passengers urinating on fellow long-haul travelers.
India’s aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), said Thursday that Air India had not followed protocol when a disorderly male passenger on a Nov. 26 flight from New York to Delhi urinated on an elderly woman who was also traveling onboard.
He was traveling in business class, the Hindustan Times reported.
Air India—which is owned by Tata Group—said on Wednesday that it had banned the male passenger from its flights for a month as required by regulations, and had reported the incident to the DGCA.
However, DGCA said in its statement that the man, who was said to be intoxicated when the incident occurred, was not dealt with by Air India staff in a way that complied with provisions for handling unruly air passengers.
“The conduct of the concerned airline appears to be unprofessional and has led to a systemic failure,” DGCA said, as reported by local news outlets in India.
DGCA said it had issued notices to Air India’s director of inflight services as well as the pilots and cabin crew who were working on the flight in question requiring them to explain why no further action should be taken against them for the “dereliction of their regulatory obligations.”
It also accused the Air India staff involved with the incident of being “devoid of empathy.”
Spokespeople for Air India and DGCA were not immediately available for comment when contacted by Fortune.
On Thursday, Air India reported a second incident during a Dec. 6 flight between Paris and Delhi, news agency Reuters reported, which saw another male passenger urinate on an empty seat and the blanket of a fellow passenger. Air India reportedly said the passenger on the Paris flight had been arrested on arrival at Delhi but was released by police after coming to an understanding with the victim.
According to Indian media, the man accused of urinating on a woman on the Nov. 26 flight is wanted for arrest by the New Delhi police.
Under new standards that came into force in India in 2017, unruly passengers are banned from flying for between three months and over two years depending on the severity of their offense.
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