Could Air India be the world’s worst airline?
The answer is no. According to AirlineRatings.com, that dishonour goes to North Korea’s national carrier, Air Koryo.
But it seems Air India is making a run for the global aviation industry’s wooden spoon, especially after two events in October.
The first was the inexcusable risk an Air India captain took when, after smashing through a brick wall on take-off, he continued to fly for four hours before finally landing the plane safely in Mumbai.
Air India Flight IX 611, a Boeing 737 with six crew members and 130 passengers onboard, was headed for Dubai when it hit a boundary wall on take-off.
Air traffic control alerted the pilot of the incident after it was reported by airport police personnel, but the captain reportedly told officials that the aircraft systems were operating normally, indicating to him that the plane was okay.
The plane was diverted from Dubai Airport to Mumbai after flight traffic control crew at Dubai said it was too risky for it to land.
Luckily – or miraculously – the plane landed safely, and no one onboard was harmed. A driver passing the wall hit by the plane was not so lucky, as he was injured by flying debris.
On inspection, airport officials found fence mesh stuck near the plane’s wheel and the bottom of the plane’s fuselage was slashed open.
The captain and the first officer, who had over 6500 flying hours between them, have been suspended pending an investigation.
The second incident involved a female crew member falling from Air India flight 864 just before take-off from Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport.
The 53-year-old woman was closing the door for the push back when she fell from the aircraft.
“In an unfortunate incident, one of our cabin crew (members), Harsha Lobo, fell down on the tarmac from the Boeing-777 aircraft door while closing it,” read a statement from Air India.
“She sustained injuries to her legs and has been taken to the Nanavati Hospital for further treatment.”
Just when you think this may only happen in India, a similar incident occurred earlier this year, when a British man fell from a plane to his death in Turkey. Late last year, in separate incidents, two flight attendants fell out of plane doors in China, but neither incident resulted in a fatality.
Have you ever flown with Air India? Would you fly with them now?