It is just one of those situations, where you want to be proud of your country’s airline, but they just keep messing up. I keep looking for reasons to praise the good work done by anyone in India in this field. This past month, though, I wish had never happened for Air India. It started off as a routine strike by the pilots due to wage issues. It then turned into a huge problem for an airline run by the Indian government as the debt increased. Flights were grounded, passengers were left fuming. This really isn’t the way it should be, especially if you want to be called the country’s best airline. The problems begin in the organization. If the important people behind the scenes don’t make the right decisions, it turns into a recipe for disaster. The perfect example would be decreasing benefits for pilots through their wages without their consent.
If that wasn’t enough, a few days later the following happened. 4 crew members of IC-884 from Sharjah to Delhi began a brawl on-board an Airbus A-320 at 30,000 feet. People have read this and laughed, ridiculed at it. But the fact of the matter remains that this type of incident is completely unacceptable. It creates a huge risk and invites trouble through the front door. The crew didn’t deny that they exchanged blows mid-flight, but the speculation remains about the reason behind it all. One of the flight attendants has filed charges of molestation against the pilots and claims that a fellow attendant was defending her against the pilots when the 2 vs 2 brawl began. As passengers looked on with utter disbelief, the 4 of them managed to bruise each other considerably and then get back to work.
A pre-condition to an unsafe act, this incident has not only left a black mark on Air India, but it has also confirmed the suicidal nature of the company. It is wrong to say that such an incident shows how nonprofessional the entire crew of Air India is, but that’s what people are saying. At the end of the day, the customer wants satisfaction, not to be disturbed when he is sleeping by the elbow of the co-pilot after it ricocheted off the attendant’s face. Getting back from this abyss will be very difficult for Air India, and even though they claim that they can, it is near impossible in the near future.
I’m sure the DGCA is fuming over the incident and rightly so. The fantastic four will be lucky if they fly again in uniform. It is just incidents like these and simple decorum that separates the best from the pathetic. I don’t think I’m going to fly Air India again.