Air India says it “vehemently” denies claims that its management grant flying favours to their friends and family.
A recent report in the Mumbai Mirror accused the national carrier of offering free upgrades, including the daughter of a top executive who was allowed to sleep in a crew rest area during a New York-Mumbai flight.
“The entire report is based on misplaced facts with a purpose to damage the image of the national carrier and with a malicious intent to furthering the interest of a cabin crew leader who has been dismissed on various charges of indiscipline and insubordination,” Air India said in a strong-worded statement.
Another claim was that a friend of Air India’s managing director, Rohit Nandan, was “illegally upgraded to first class” on a flight from Frankfurt to Delhi. Air India responded to this, saying that the upgrade was “subject to availability” and “did not deny any revenue paying passenger of a seat”.
“The allegation that the officer… was bumped up to first class at the expense of the legitimate passenger is totally incorrect, false, misleading and mischievous,” the airline added.
Earlier this year, Air India was forced to issue a statement denying that it “splurged crores (tens of millions) of rupees” on celebrations to mark its self-proclaimed ‘Air India Day’.