LONDON – Indian Low-Cost carrier Indigo found itself in a huge controversy after one of its staff members denied boarding to a boy with a disability.
This incident took place on 7th May 2022 at Ranchi International Airport in India.
Since the video of the ordeal was posted on social networking sites, Indigo has been facing a huge backlash from the community and had created a huge uproar from the people.
Indian Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia warned Indigo airlines and has said that he is investigating the matter himself. This isn’t the first time India LCC Indigo has found itself in such huge controversy, back in 2017 Indigo airlines ground staff had manhandled and pinned down an elderly passenger on the tarmac.
In that incident, Indigo faced a similar backlash and the airline accepted its mistake and issued an apology to the passenger.
In this incident, Indigo airline’s CEO Ronojoy Dutta expressed his regret over the entire incident but also said in the statement that he 100% stands with the decision taken by his staff.
He said in a statement “We always tell employees flight safety is Number 1. If you are in doubt, please always err on the side of flight safety.”
“So how do we make sure that flight safety is not just lip service but is actually working. One is training. The second thing is empowerment.”
“We don’t try to second guess the captain’s, flight attendant or flight manager’s decision”.
“Flight safety is the partnership between the DGCA and the airline and the DGCA is very clear what our responsibilities are.”
“As an airline you are responsible for screening passengers.”.
Airline staff alleges that the child was in a panic situation and deemed him to be a threat to aircraft security hence denied boarding.
In the video uploaded by one of the standards, it can be seen many other co-passengers came to his aid and requested/argued with the staff to allow the boy to board the aircraft.
The statement added:
“This passenger, I would be happy to say, flew with us 50 times over the past few years. In this particular case, he was in a panic situation for whatever reason.”
“And if you look at flight safety, incidents happen when the crew is distracted. It is never one thing.”
“The passenger needs to be composed. And it is not that whether it is a physically challenged child or a normal child or a pregnant woman, it all depends on whether the passenger is normal and composed”.
Indigo’s CEO also in the same statement said the airline would like to buy an electric wheelchair for the passenger as a token of apology for the inconvenience caused by it.
Indian Aviation regulator DGCA has formed a three-member committee to probe operations and legal aspects of this incident and will soon be announcing its findings on the same.