IndiGo CEO Ronojoy Dutta has expressed regret over the incident that happened at the Ranchi airport on Saturday wherein a specially abled child was barred from boarding his flight to Hyderabad as he was in a state of panic .
Dutta also offered to buy an electric wheelchair for the boy as a "small token of our appreciation" for the lifelong dedication of his parents in taking care of a disabled person.
As the boy was prohibited from boarding the airline's Ranchi-Hyderabad flight on Saturday, his parents -- who were with him -- also decided to not enter the plane.
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In a statement issued on Monday, Dutta said, Having reviewed all aspects of this incident, we as an organisation are of the view that we made the best possible decision under difficult circumstances."
Throughout the check-in and boarding process, our intent of course was to carry the family. However, at the boarding area the teenager was visibly in panic, he mentioned.
While providing courteous and compassionate service to our customers is of paramount importance to us, the airport staff, in line with the safety guidelines, were forced to make a difficult decision as to whether this commotion would carry forward aboard the aircraft, he stated.
We recognise too well that parents who dedicate their lives to the caring of physically challenged persons are the true heroes of our society, he noted.
We offer our sincere regrets to the affected family for the unfortunate experience and as a small token of our appreciation of their lifelong dedication would like to offer to purchase an electric wheelchair for their son, he added.
All of us at IndiGo are truly distressed by this particular incident, Dutta mentioned.
Since April 2022, we have carried over 75,000 specially abled passengers aboard our airline and our crew and airport staff are trained to serve such passengers sensitively, he said.
The 2017 regulations of Indian aviation regulator DGCA state that passengers who are likely to be unruly and disruptive must be carefully monitored and if deemed to pose a threat to safety and security of the flight, fellow passengers or staff while on board the plane, they should be refused embarkation.
"Airline shall establish mechanism to detect and report unruly passenger behaviour at check-in, in the lounges, and at the boarding gate in order to prevent such passengers from boarding," the regulations added.