Air India suspends co-pilot, 2 cabin crew for over stay in cockpit

Air India has suspended the co-pilot and two cabin crew for "over stay" in the cockpit.

Updated: May 03, 2013, 18:56 PM IST

Mumbai: Air India has suspended the co-pilot and two cabin crew for "over stay" in the cockpit on its Delhi-bound flight from Bangkok on April 12 but denied reports that pilots had allowed the stewardesses to operate the aircraft, endangering the lives of passengers.

"Based on a report that two cabin crew members were in the cockpit for a prolonged period on the said flight, the two cabin crew were called for an inquiry.

As the enquiry confirmed the over stay of the cabin crew in the cockpit, administrative action was taken against them and the pilot. They have been suspended pending the final enquiry of the incident," the national carrier said in a statement here.

The action came following a media report which alleged that both the commander and the co-pilot left the cockpit after putting the plane on auto-pilot mode and allowing the cabin crew to operate the flight.

Air India also denied that one of the cabin crew "accidentally switched off the auto-pilot mode", as alleged in the report, endangering the safety of 166 passengers onboard.

"It is categorically stated that at no point of time the cockpit was left unattended by the cockpit crew. During the incident, due to distraction the co-pilot had touched the auto pilot disconnect button momentarily. But the same was connected back," the statement said.

At Air India, flight safety is paramount, the statement said, adding," we take all steps to ensure that safety is not compromised under any circumstances."