At least 220 Singapore-bound passengers of an Air India flight were stranded at the airport after their flight, which was scheduled to take off on Wednesday earlty morning, was cancelled due to non-coordination among top officials.
The pilot, who was supposed to fly, had been suspended and no alternative arrangement had been made.
Union civil aviation minister Ajit Singh on Wednesday ordered the immediate removal of Air India’s general manager (operations) after he failed to put a crew in place for the Mumbai–Singapore flight.
According to the ministry, the flight did not take off because of non-availability of crew. “Captain RS Dhillon, who was supposed to fly the aircraft, was suspended just the previous day for allegedly fudging records of simulator training, and hence, became ineligible to fly. Captain HY Samant, GM (operations) knew this and yet made no alternative arrangement.” the ministry said.
An inquiry and immediate disciplinary action against Samant and all those responsible for the lapse has been ordered.
An Air India spokesperson said the flight, A 330, was rescheduled for Wednesday night. While some of the passengers were accommodated on other aircraft, many others were provided accommodation and other facilities by the airline.
On December 31, AI captain RS Dhillon, was suspended for fudging Simulator training records. The action was taken after the authorities received a complaint about the alleged irregularities in the conduct of Simulator Sessions at A-330 Jet Airways Simulator. The matter was entrusted to the vigilance department of Air India for investigation.
The probe revealed that records with on training imparted on Simulator were prima facie fudged by Capt. Dhillon. “As his misconduct is fraught with serious implications on the training of pilots and consequently flight safety, Dhillon has been suspended pending charge sheet and further inquiry,” the ministry said.