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Indian airlines slapped Rs 2.75 cr fine in 2023

By Ajinkya Kawale
January 04, 2024 15:19 IST
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The aviation regulator slap­ped fines amounting to Rs 2.75 crore on Indian airlines in 2023, marking a 39 per cent rise in financial penalties from Rs 1.97 crore in 2022.


Photograph: Shaun Best/Reuters

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said it imposed fines on domestic carriers such as Air India, IndiGo, AirAsia India and SpiceJet for issues related to non-compliance in 2023.

The regulator also carried out a record number of 5,745 surveillance activities in the year to ensure compliance by airlines, aerodrome operators, and aviation personnel among others.


Of these, DGCA said, 4,039 instan­ces were of planned surveillance besi­des 1,706 spot checks and night ins­p­ec­t­ions.

It had carried out 4,378 sur­veillance activities in 2022.

Based on the evaluations, it enforced measures against 542 non-compliant entities in 2023, marking an increase from the 305 cases in 2022.

“Consequent to the findings of the surveillance conducted, enforcement action on non-compliant personnel, airlines, and other operators was tak­en.

"Enforcement actions were also tak­en on erring pilots/cabin crew, ATCOs (air traffic control officers), non-scheduled airlines, flying training organisations and aerodrome operators,” the regulator said in a statement.

As regards enforcement action in terms of financial penalties, the regulator, in two separate incidents, imposed Rs 30 lakh each on Air India in 2023.

One infamous incident involved an unruly passenger allegedly urinating on a co-passenger during a New York-Delhi flight, while in another case the airline was fined for a pilot letting a female friend enter the cockpit on a Dubai-Delhi flight.

Similarly, a penalty of Rs 10 lakh was also imposed on the airline for its failure to compensate passengers affect­ed by delayed flights and unserviceable seats.

A Rs 30-lakh fine was levied on IndiGo after it suffered four tail strikes on its aircraft last year.

The airline paid Rs 20 lakh in revised penalty to the regulator last month.

AirAsia India and SpiceJet were also slapped with fines amounting to Rs 20 lakh respectively for issues related to non-compliance.

A penalty of Rs 3 lakh each was levied on eight examiners of AirAsia India for failing to discharge duties.

In 2022, the regulator had imposed a Rs 70-lakh fine on Vistara for not operating the minimum number of mandated flights to underserved areas of the Northeast region.

Other than financial penalties on airlines, DGCA’s enforcement actions included suspension of Air India’s (A-I) approved training organisations in August.

The regulator had suspended A-I’s Airbus simulator facility in Hyd­erabad and the airline’s Boeing simulator unit in Mumbai after it found lapses during a spot check.

In June 2023, the regulator placed SpiceJet under “enhanced surveillan­ce” as a matter of precaution given the incidents during the 2022 monsoon season.

The airline had reported at least eight incidents of technical malfunction between June 19 and July 6 that year, following which the DGCA had ordered the airline to operate just 50 per cent of its scheduled flights.

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Ajinkya Kawale
Source: source

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