A three-hour delay in Air India’s Delhi-London flight taking off caused chaos among the passengers. As per the Hindustan Times’ reports, the passengers complained that the delay in the flight was caused because of the problems with seat allocation as some seats were not “working”. However, the airlines said that the delay was because of the previous day’s bad weather. After the incident, DGCA got involved in issuing a warning for the airlines not to sell unserviceable seats to passengers.
Airlines have been told by the DGCA not to offer unserviceable seats to passengers on domestic and international flights. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation conducted an audit of seats and other cabin equipment in airlines’ aircraft earlier this year and discovered that many were defective or unusable.
The Air India flight AI 161 was supposed to depart from Delhi Airport at 2:45 am but took off at 5:45 am.
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In a communique sent to all Indian carriers, the DGCA said that some of the carriers are offering unserviceable seats to passengers on their scheduled international and domestic operations.
“This practice is not only causing inconvenience to the travellers but also inviting a serious safety concern as well,” the regulator mentioned. As per Rule 53 of The Aircraft Rule, 1937, all materials, including the aircraft seat, shall conform to approved design specifications, the DGCA noted.
The installation of any part failing to meet the intended design requirements degrades the airworthiness requirements, it said.
“In view of the above, it is hereby advised to ensure that the airline shall not book passengers beyond the serviceable seats meeting the approved design specification available in the aircraft, released for scheduled services. Any non-compliance in this regard shall be viewed seriously,” it noted.
With inputs from PTI