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IndiGo's Ronojoy Dutta says would do exactly the same if he was in this situation

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IndiGo's Ronojoy Dutta says would do exactly the same if he was in this situation

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India's largest airline IndiGo is in the eye of a controversy. The company is facing flak after a 90-second video went viral on social media. The airline refused to board a specially-abled teenager at the Ranchi airport and claimed that he was in a state of panic. Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Ronojoy Dutta CEO of IndiGo said I would do exactly the same thing - we never compromise safety.

India's largest airline IndiGo is in the eye of controversy. The company is facing flak after a 90-second video went viral on social media. The airline refused to board a specially-abled teenager at the Ranchi airport for a flight to Hyderabad because he was "in a state of panic".
In the video, a few passengers and the parents of the teenager are seen arguing with the IndiGo staff at the airport. A journalist was also at the airport and he posted his version of the events that unfolded on Twitter.
Aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia responded to the tweet saying, “There is zero tolerance towards such behaviour. No human being should have to go through this! Investigating the matter by myself, post which appropriate action will be taken."
Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Ronojoy Dutta, CEO of IndiGo, said, “I have gone through 1,000 safety incidents, and you always find that accidents don’t just happen. There is usually something that is distracting the crew. So, making sure that the crew is not distracted is a big part of what the regulator also demands. They have built it into Civil Aviation Regulations 4.3 and 4.4, which says hey airline, it is your responsibility to monitor the boarding process, and if you see any potential unruly passengers that could cause a disruption, it is your responsibility to forestall that boarding.”
He added, “We have gone through this minute by minute what happened here, what happened there, and I turned to our head of airport operations. I turned to the head of our Delhi operations and said guys, in this situation, what would you do? They said we would do exactly the same thing, and if you asked me, what would I do? I would do exactly the same thing.”
He said customer service and affordability are IndiGo's pillars but safety is their No.1 objective, adding that "the same passenger has flown with us 50 times" before the incident.
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IndiGo has responded to the incident calling it unfortunate and truly distressing. However, the airline backed the decision of the staff at the airport, saying the teenager was "visibly in a state of panic" and added that "the best possible decision was taken under difficult circumstances."
Dutta added, “It is the emotional and physical demeanour at the moment of boarding that was the issue. We have been in touch with the customer and we would like to assure them of all possible support.”
IndiGo went on to say that it has flown more than 75,000 specially-abled passengers since April alone. As a small token of appreciation, the airline has offered to buy an electric wheelchair for the child in question
He said, “Every one of our customer-facing employees has training on disability passengers. They have a refresher every two years, there are programmes such as autism, spinal injury, sign language, and they are trained specially in those. So IndiGo is very aware of its responsibility in terms of getting disabled passengers. But again, I come back to when safety is compromised, we have to go err on the side of safety.”
After the aviation regulator launched a probe, IndiGo said that a team of five people met the DGCA and had lengthy discussions. "Will file a written report by 5 pm on Monday. The DGCA has assured us a quick response over the next few days," Dutta said.
He said the management had gone through the CCTV footage of the incident minute by minute. "Will take this as a To-Do List. Let's talk to a couple of associations and get feedback. Already have a team who look at global emerging practices," Dutta said.
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