Air India broken old seats a major concern for safety, DGCA to step in

Tattered seat covers, broken head rests, arm rests taped and dysfunctional seat-back entertainment screens problems major concerns for Tata Sons

Tattered seat covers, broken head rests, arm rests taped and dysfunctional seat-back entertainment screens – an old  problem for Air India continues to be a worry for its new owners, Tata Sons.

Off late, many have complained on social media that they were denied boarding from business class to economy because of unserviceable seats. Moreover, prompting the DGCA on Tuesday to order all airlines in the country to ensure no unserviceable seats should be sold to passengers.

The DGCA has said that such issues will  not only cause inconvenience to passengers. But also raises safety concerns for the passengers as well as staff.

The international passengers travelling on planes who have to endure over 15 hours of flight with such seats are the worst hit by the problem.

Air India’s Boeing 777 aircraft that flies long distance destinations such as the U.S. Hence is one thatthat suffer from broken seats and damaged seat-back screens. In 2006, the company has  placed an order for 68 Boeing planes, including 23 777s.

“Seats on Boeing 777s have been crying for attention for past several years. But because of the government’s plan for disinvestment entire expenditure on their replacement was stopped. Only damaged parts were being replaced. In fact, the problems surfaced soon after the new planes joined the fleet. And there were concerns over the tender given to an Italian company called Avio Interiors”. Said a former Air India official who has served in the airline’s engineering department.

He added to the above statement that it was not fair to expect changes over-night under the new owners. “Selecting seat manufacturers and then fitting the seats into existing configuration can take up to a year. Managing various scheduled travel constraints.”

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