Indian aviation watchdog suspends Air India’s flight safety chief over lapses

BENGALURU (Reuters) – India’s aviation regulator said on Thursday it suspended Tata Group-owned Air India’s chief of flight safety for a month after it found some lapses in the accident prevention work conducted by the airline.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said an internal audit found deficiencies in the availability of necessary technical manpower as per the flight safety manual, among other relevant rules.

Some of the checks claimed to have been done by Air India were not carried out as per regulatory requirements, the regulator added.

“We acknowledge and accept the DGCA’s finding and regret the failure of one of our audit staff to fully comply with the process and documentation requirements,” an Air India spokesperson said in a statement.

“We are sparing no effort to uplift the culture of safety and diligence to contemporary standards, through clarifying requirements, training and stricter consequence management. We will continue these efforts for as long as it is needed to effect the necessary changes.”

The developments come just a month after the Tata group unveiled a new logo, branding and plane livery for Air India as part of a multi-million-dollar transformation of the former state-run carrier.

Since taking control in 2022, the salt-to-software conglomerate has spent millions of dollars to update Air India’s old planes, while also placing an order for hundreds of new jets.

(Reporting by Aditi Shah in New Delhi, Writing by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; Editing by Sohini Goswami)