In the light of recent molestation cases, state-run carrier, Air India has said it will keep restrainers (such has plastic handcuffs) on-board all its domestic and international flights to keep unruly and disruptive passengers at bay.
The latest move follows two incidents of indecent behaviour on-board Air India flights. In one incident reported earlier this month, a female cabin crew member was allegedly molested on an Air India Muscat-Delhi flight. In an another incident, a female passenger complained of being groped by a co-passenger on the Mumbai-Newark flight in December, Times of India reported.
"We used to carry restrainers only on our international flights but will now have them on both domestic and international flights. All our aircraft will have two pairs of restraining devices," Ashwani Lohani, chairman of Air India was quoted as saying by the publication.
Incidents of in-flight misbehaviour have been on the rise in recent times. "As more and more people take to the skies, the number of such incidents is bound to rise. At times, it becomes necessary to deal with misbehaving passengers. So as a preventive measure, all airlines keep restraining device (tie-wraps)," an airline executive, who did not wish to be named told the International Business Times, India.
According to the Air India cabin crew manual, "restraining a pax (passenger) is one of the last steps and should be done only if the matter is totally out of control."
Air India reported a market share of 12.9 percent for November and a significant increase in its passenger load factor. Earlier, Air India had announced that it would soon launch new flights to Washington D.C. (USA), Tel Aviv (Israel), Stockholm (Sweden) and Africa.