“A single Man v/s Man-eater Giants,” yes, that’s correct. Imagine you pay thousands of bucks for a service first hand. What would you expect in return? Better customer service, right? But what if that company plays with your belief by putting your life at risk and you have no idea about that. And when you came to know about that, what you do?
The same situation has come to light recently, in which issues regarding the airline company’s policies and passenger safety norms got highlighted. And that company is “AirAsia.” When you pay a large sum to an airline company to book your tickets, it is their responsibility to give topmost priority to your safety. You don’t even doubt the intentions of that airline and fly with complete trust in them.
However, the recent controversy of Flying Beast v/s AirAsia will blow your mind. In his recent video, Gaurav Taneja a.k.a. Flying Beast, ex-Captain of AirAsia revealed the shocking and harsh truth about their company policies and passenger safety norms, which will make you angry like hell.
You can watch the complete video mentioned below regarding the matter:
What’s the Matter?
Gaurav Taneja is a fitness blogger, a digital influencer who also has a YouTube Channel by the name Flying Beast. He and his wife Ritu Rathee, who’s also a pilot post their vlogs very frequently that are loved by millions. Gaurav Taneja was working as a Pilot who captained Airbus A320 with AirAsia India. Recently, he got suspended from the airline due to a controversial video he posted on his YouTube Channel. (It was just an excuse AirAsia needed to suspend him because he questioned the loopholes in their system.)
On June 14, Gaurav Taneja posted a twit mentioning that he has been suspended from the airline company. After that, in the video, he alleged the airline for violating multiple safety protocols, endangering passengers’ lives that are on board.
Important Points mentioned in the Video
Sick leave Policies
He started by disclosing unfavorable sick leave policies of AirAsia. As a Pilot, his job is very different when compared with 9-5 office jobs. A pilot is responsible for hundreds of lives that are traveling with him on the flight. In the corporate sector, a person can still show up to work even though he/she is a little tired. But a pilot can’t afford to do so. He has to be in perfect condition to fly a plane. If he’s not in 100% well, it will compromise the passenger’s safety, which is equivalent to plotting a murder.
Gaurav Taneja mentioned that the company asks its pilots to work on off days if they claim their sick leave. On March 24, he applied for sick leave because he was not feeling well and can’t give his 100% on the flight. Yet, the company asked him to report to work, endangering everyone’s lives on board. When he attempted to raise his voice, the company tried to defame him by pointing out his physical health and lifestyle problems. They also blamed him for the company’s financial loss.
He said, “When I raised my voice against it, the Chief of Flight Safety send him an email mentioning that I report fatigue and sick frequently. Even Management asked me to redo the medical and undergo lifestyle counseling.”
***Please note that a pilot has to clear his/her medical exam conducted by Air Force, which is valid for one year. And if you question the medical condition of a pilot after he cleared that procedure, you are directly raising your fingers against Air Force Authorities.***
“Sick report and fatigue report are the non-intuitive policy in an airline business, which is documented by the regulator and approved by the government.” The shocking part is, the AirAsia management was not following any of these rules. When Gaurav Taneja pointed out these mistakes, they started to raise problems for him.
Jeopardizing Passenger’s Safety
He gave a detailed explanation of how the events unfurled on which dates. He mentioned multiple points where AirAsia India ignored health and safety guidelines onboard. Between March 22-23, he delayed a flight for 40 minutes because the airline was not following any safety-related guidelines.
He said, “Before onboarding a flight, a pilot has to sign a document in which it’s clearly mentioned that the safety of Airbus and it’s passengers are now pilot’s responsibility. And if any mishappening happens, then the pilot will be responsible for it.”
When he raised the issue with higher authorities, there was no response from the company. So he decided not to fly on March 24 due to the lack of safety protocols.
He also explained the two types of landing mechanisms: Flap 3 and Flap 4. In a Flap 3 landing, the airline saves 8 to 10 Kgs of fuel, which is allowed under normal conditions. The Flap 4 landing is more secure, but it consumes more fuel. This type of landing is done when the conditions are not safe, or the pilot feels that Flap 3 landing might risk the passenger’s lives.
In March, Gaurav Taneja did 3 Flap 4 landings out of 10 to ensure the safety of everyone on board. All three landings were done at Imphal airport, where the plane descends more steeply compared to other airports. “However, you will be shocked to know that the company pressurizes its pilots to achieve the target of 98% Flap 3 landings. It means, even if there are no chances of doing Flap 3 landing, the pilot still has to do it. If not, his/her points will be deducted, which would affect their yearly bonus,” as explained by him. And because he made 3 Flap 4 landing out of 10, he did not meet the quota.
He received an email from the airlines regarding the same, where they were more concerned about their FUEL and TARGET, rather than passenger’s safety. And when he pointed out gaps in the safety protocols, the airline company terminated him by giving the excuse of post-COVID budget cuts.
Reaction to this Situation
The DGCA or Directorate General of Civil Aviation has taken notes of this situation and has already started their investigation regarding the flagged issues. They assured everyone that they will take appropriate actions against the airline company. Senior DGCA officials mentioned that AirAsia India is not under investigation after analyzing the allegations made by Gaurav Taneja.
But I would like to mention that AirAsia has not responded to the request for a statement by the PTI. In the last part of his video, he said, “these people have strong connections, and he’s fighting alone. They can hire a lawyer who’s one-time fees would be equal to his annual salary. He can’t even guarantee his safety. But he’s still going to fight. It’s time to raise your voice against the injustices, corrupted, and toxic system of ours.”
After hearing such statements it can be said that it’s a fight between a “Single Man and Man-eater Giants.” Right now, #BoycottAirAsiaIndia has become the top trending hashtag on twitter in India. If what he said is true, then it’s very shameful to see that a company could risk innocent lives for the sake of saving a few bucks. It’s extremely immoral. People showed their discontent and anguish against a reputed airline company that prioritizes profit margins over onboard passengers’ safety.
When the video went viral, the stocks of AirAsia started to collapse. Thousands of people have shown their support in the favor of ex-captain Taneja and encouraged him for showing such bravery and making this video. It breaks our hearts that despite these pandemic times and holes in our pockets, an airline company is concerned about their profits and taking people’s lives lightly.