The Indian civil aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation fined Air India ₹1.1 million for safety breaches on select flights.

The airline was penalized for failing to comply with rules and safety instructions regarding oxygen-related compliance requirements for operating leased Boeing B777 aircraft.

According to the judgment dated January 24, the regulator received a complaint from an airline employee in October against Air India for suspected safety breaches on flights operated from Mumbai/Bengaluru to San Francisco utilizing leased Boeing B777 aircraft beginning November 2022.

And whereas a comprehensive investigation was carried out concerning said operations of Air India on B-777 (200 LR) aircraft leased from Delta airlines with 12 minutes chemical passenger oxygen system on BOM/BLR-SFO route,” the court’s judgment said.

In aviation, oxygen systems are equipment known as chemical oxygen generators that provide oxygen for 12-15 minutes, allowing a pilot to descend the plane to an altitude where extra oxygen is no longer required.

The regulator’s preliminary inquiry into the complaint against Tata Group-backed Air India revealed noncompliance, and the agency subsequently issued a show-cause notice to the airline’s responsible management. 

The response to the show cause notice was duly examined concerning the laid down stipulations under the relevant statutory provisions and the performance limits stipulated in critical documentations laid down by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM),” the DGCA said in a statement. 

The DGCA levied a penalty of ₹1.10 crore on Air India for leased aircraft operations that did not meet regulatory requirements and manufacturer performance restrictions.

Last week, the aviation authority fined Air India ₹30 lakh for failures in pilot rostering during poor visibility flights. After reviewing the flight delay/cancellation/diversion data given by scheduled airlines for December 2023, the DGCA determined that Air India did not schedule CAT II/III and poor visibility take-off certified pilots for certain of the flights.

In November, the regulator fined Air India ₹10 lakh for failing to offer essential passenger services. In this respect, the DGCA conducted inspections of airlines at Delhi, Kochi, and Bengaluru airports and discovered that Air India was not following the terms of the applicable Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR).