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Air safety watchdog suspends two senior AirAsia India executives

·1-min read

By Aditi Shah

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's air safety regulator has suspended two senior executives at AirAsia India for three months, the watchdog's chief confirmed on Tuesday, weeks after a former pilot at the airline flagged certain safety and personnel issues.

In June, in a YouTube video, pilot Gaurav Taneja raised concerns over some policies including the way in which sick leaves were accounted for by the airline, adherence to rules during the coronavirus pandemic and aircraft landing procedures. The video has been viewed over 6 million times.

Earlier on Tuesday, local media reported that AirAsia India's head of operations, Manish Uppal, and the airline's safety head, Mukesh Nema, had been suspended.

The move comes days after the crash of an Air India Express flight which killed 18 of 190 people onboard.

The suspension was ordered "after ascertaining the facts and conducting an enquiry," said Arun Kumar, chief of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

Uppal and Nema could not be reached immediately for comment.

AirAsia India, jointly owned by India's Tata Group and Malaysia's AirAsia Group, has complied with the directions of the regulator and appointed interim post holders, the airline's spokesperson said in a statement.

"As an airline that prioritises safety above all, we continue to engage with the authorities and exercise the option to appeal for redress," the person said.

(Reporting by Aditi Shah; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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