Top AirAsia officials suspended after pilot alleges safety lapses

The aviation regulator suspended two senior executives at AirAsia India after a pilot alleged there were safety lapses at the airline and subsequently was fired.

AirAsia India’s head of operations, Manish Uppal, and head of safety, Mukesh Nema, were suspended for three months, Arun Kumar, chief of Directorate General of Civil Aviation, said on Tuesday in a text message, confirming local media reports.

In a video posted in June that’s been viewed more than 6 million times on YouTube, pilot Gaurav Taneja questioned AirAsia’s policies on sick leave, landing procedures, and handling of Covid-19. Taneja posts under the username Flying Beast and has more than 3.5 million subscribers.

AirAsia counted sick days as mandatory break days for pilots, depriving them of the required rest before flying an aircraft, Taneja said. He alleged that the airline sets targets for pilots to land using a specific fuel-saving approach, which can be more dangerous at certain airports.