the pilot has also been suspended for three months.
India’s aviation regulator has imposed a fine of £30,000 on Air India after a drunk man urinated on an elderly woman mid-flight in November 2022.
The pilot has also been suspended.
Shankar Mishra, a vice president of Wells Fargo’s India operations, was inebriated when he walked up to the woman’s seat.
He is said to have unzipped his trousers and urinated on her.
He was later sacked by the banking giant and was arrested by Delhi police.
Following an investigation, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) of India said Air India violated its rules by not taking appropriate action against the passenger who “conducted himself in a disorderly manner and allegedly relieved himself on a female passenger”.
The watchdog imposed a financial penalty of £29,903 on the airline and £2,990 on the airline’s director of in-flight services.
It added that the pilot has also been suspended for three months.
Although the incident happened on November 26, it was only reported to DGCA on January 4, 2023.
Action was taken after the woman shared her traumatic experience in a letter to the chairman of Tata Group, which owns the carrier, after Mr Mishra walked free.
In her letter, the woman said:
“I am writing to express my deep disappointment regarding the appalling incident that occurred during my business class trip on flight AI102 (commencing in NY, JFK yesterday 26th November at 12.30 pm, and arriving this afternoon in New Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport at approximately 1.30 pm).
“This has been the most traumatic flight that I have ever experienced.
“During the course of the flight, shortly after lunch was served and the lights were switched off, I was getting ready to sleep, and another passenger walked to my seat completely inebriated.
“He unzipped his pants, relieved himself, and continued to expose me to his private parts.
“The passenger sitting next to me asked him to return to his seat. He did not respond immediately, but after a few moments left the area.”
In response to the fine, Air India acknowledged the gaps in reporting the incident to the authorities and that relevant steps are being taken.
The airline said:
“We acknowledge gaps in our reporting, and we’re taking steps to address them.”
“Air India is committed to standing by the safety and well-being of our passengers.”
Following backlash over the incident, Air India announced a four-month flying ban on Mr Mishra.
After his arrest, Mr Mishra’s lawyer told a session’s court in Delhi that he was innocent and that the woman urinated on herself.
The lawyer claimed that the woman was “suffering from some disease related to prostate” which he added several Kathak dancers suffer from.