Kozhikode crash: AI Express offers final compensation to all injured flyers, next of kin of deceased
Air India Express said it has made final compensation offers to all 165 passengers, who were injured and the next of kin of 19 flyers who died in the plane crash, in Kerala's Kozhikode district last year.
According to the airline, 80 out of the 165 injured flyers have taken up the offers as on August 6. The airline is awaiting acceptance of the offers from the remaining 85 injured flyers and the next of kin of the 19 deceased passengers.
"We have not received any rejection on the offers made from the injured passengers or the next of kin of the deceased. Also, no legal case has been filed on the offers made," an Air India Express spokesperson told PTI.
The Air India Express flight from Dubai with 190 people on board, including a six-member crew, overshot the tabletop runway during landing at the Kozhikode airport amid heavy rains on August 7, 2020.
It fell into a valley 35 feet below and broke into pieces, killing 19 passengers and the two pilots. A total of 165 passengers and four cabin crew members were injured in the crash.
The spokesperson said the carrier paid the interim compensation to the injured persons and the next of kin of the deceased persons by September 2020.
The interim compensation was Rs 10 lakh to the next of kin of deceased passenger of more than 12 years of age, Rs 5 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased passenger of less than 12 years of age, Rs 2 lakh for critically injured passenger and Rs 50,000 to injured passenger.
Once the interim compensations were given to the victims, the airline gave them the claim forms so that full and final compensation offers for each of them could be calculated, he said.
The spokesperson added that the airline made the full and final compensation offers to each of the injured passengers and the next of kin of the deceased flyers between November 2020 and April 2021.
"The airline started organising one-to-one meetings in Kozhikode to address the concerns or doubts of the injured passengers and the next of kin regarding the offers made. A total of 138 one-on-one meetings have taken place till August 6," he mentioned.
He said the full and final compensation offers have also been made to the four injured cabin crew members and the next of kin of the two deceased pilots, and they have been accepted.
Five days after the plane crash, the Aircraft Accident Investigation Board (AAIB) had formed a five-member panel to inquire into the circumstances of the accident. The panel is yet to submit its report.
Captain S S Chahar, former DGCA-designated examiner for pilots of the B737NG aircraft, is the investigator-in-charge in the panel.
He is assisted by operations expert Ved Prakash, senior aircraft maintenance engineer-B737 Mukul Bhardwaj, aviation medicine expert Y S Dahiya and AAIB deputy director Jasbir Singh Larhga.