Former AI staffer stands by claims, says airline broke rules

Updated: 18 April, 2020 07:40 IST | Anurag Kamble | Mumbai

Air India registered an FIR against KVJ Rao for spreading misinformation alleging violation of social-distancing protocol

The pictures from the Mumbai-Frankfurt flight KVJ Rao attached in his e-mail alleging Air India did not enforce social distancing
The pictures from the Mumbai-Frankfurt flight KVJ Rao attached in his e-mail alleging Air India did not enforce social distancing

Days after Air India registered an FIR against him, former employee KVJ Rao reiterated his allegations that the airline is not adhering to regulations which may result in serious health issues for its employees and passengers. Air India refused to comment on the matter saying it is an 'internal issue'.

mid-day on April 17 reported that Marine Drive police booked Rao for an e-mail he sent to the Mumbai police, aviation ministry, the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), health ministry and the union home minister. The e-mail claimed that the Air India flight that took off from Mumbai for Frankfurt, Germany on April 2 had no green signal from the DGCA and did enforce social distancing. He also questioned if the people ferried to Frankfurt were screened for COVID-19.

The e-mail led to Air India staffers not reporting to work. The airline approached the police and registered an FIR against Rao for spreading misinformation on April 14. "I mailed whatever information I got from the crew members on board. Air India has risked not only the health of passengers but also of crew members," said Rao. "DGCA had issued a revised circular on March 23 asking flight operators to enforce social distancing by leaving one seat vacant between two passengers, but there were more than 200 passengers in the flight with a capacity of 300," claimed Rao.

mid-day reached out to Air India regarding Rao's allegations and the decision to file an FIR. A spokesperson for the airline said, "We would not like to comment on it, it's an internal issue. The matter was investigated and subsequent action is being taken."

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First Published: 18 April, 2020 07:19 IST

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