India’s aviation regulator suspends 2 AirAsia India officials

NEW DELHI: India’s aviation regulator has suspended two AirAsia India officials for three months for alleged violation of safety rules.

A former AirAsia India pilot had recently accused the airline of violation of procedures to cut fuel costs.

“We had issued a show-cause notice to two AirAsia India executives — head of operations Manish Uppal and head of flight safety Mukesh Nema — in June.

“It has been decided now to suspend them for a period of three months,” an official from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) was quoted as saying to the Press Trust of India on Tuesday.

In June, the regulator tweeted that it had “taken note of the concerns raised by some stakeholders against a particular airline” and had started an investigation on the matter.

A former pilot said in his social media posts that one of the issues he had raised with senior managers was the airline’s request for pilots to do “98%” of landings in “Flap 3” mode to save fuel.

On Tuesday, AirAsia India said that it has complied with DGCA’s directions.

“AirAsia India acknowledges the receipt of the notice from DGCA last month and has complied with the directions of the regulator and appointed interim post holders in accordance with the regulator’s directions.

“As an airline that prioritises safety above all else, we continue to engage with the authorities and exercise the option to appeal for redress,” an AirAsia India spokesperson said.