Air India Flight 173 Incident in Siberia Raises Questions: Should Investing in People Take Priority over Aircraft?

Air India 173 takes the North Pole route, which would save around 90 minutes, making the travel time around 15.5 hours. This route includes flying over Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, the Arctic Ocean, Canada, and then entering the US.

In a recent incident that unfolded on Air India Flight 173, an emergency landing in Siberia has sparked a heated discussion about the airline’s priorities. As passengers endured the ordeal of the unexpected landing, questions have arisen regarding the importance of investing in the airline’s workforce before focusing on aircraft upgrades.

On a fateful day, Flight 173, en route to San Francisco, experienced engine troubles, necessitating an immediate emergency landing in a remote region of Siberia. Passengers found themselves stranded in an unfamiliar Russian village Magadan, facing the challenges of limited resources and uncertain circumstances. However, it was the behavior and attitude of the Air India crew during this trying time that drew significant attention and concern.

Reports emerged of instances of unprofessionalism, lack of empathy, and inadequate communication from certain crew members. Passengers, already anxious and distressed, felt let down by the airline’s representatives, questioning the airline’s commitment to their well-being. Such incidents highlight the need for Air India to address the attitude and behavior of its crew members.

In the wake of this incident, Air India’s new ownership, one of the biggest conglomerates in India, Tata along with their recent announcement of a substantial investment in the airline, comes under scrutiny. While the plan to purchase 470 airliners, equivalent to a significant amount of USD 70 billion, is commendable, it raises questions about whether additional investment should be directed towards improving the airline’s overall services and training its ground and flight crew.

Recognizing the seriousness of the crew attitude issue, Air India has vowed to take immediate action. An extensive investigation will be launched to address the behavior of the crew involved, and appropriate disciplinary measures will be implemented. Moreover, Air India has committed to introducing a comprehensive re-education program focused on professionalism, customer service, and crisis management. The aim is to instill a customer-centric culture within the airline, ensuring that all crew members adhere to the highest standards.

Air India’s incident in Siberia serves as a wake-up call for the airline to reevaluate its priorities. While investing in aircraft upgrades is undoubtedly essential, it should not overshadow the need to invest in the people who are the face of the airline. By prioritizing crew training, improving communication skills, and fostering a culture of empathy, Air India can rebuild passenger trust and confidence.

Air India remains dedicated to providing a safe and enjoyable travel experience for its passengers. The airline extends its sincere apologies to those affected by the crew’s attitude and assures the public that lessons will be learned from this incident. Air India aims to create a positive and customer-focused environment, ensuring that every passenger receives the level of service they deserve.

As Air India progresses with its investigation and implements corrective measures, it is committed to continuous improvement in crew attitude and service standards. Through collective efforts, the airline aims to prevent similar incidents in the future and regain the trust of its valued passengers.

In conclusion, the incident in Siberia has prompted Air India to reflect on the importance of investing in its workforce. While the recent investment in aircraft is significant, focusing on the crew’s attitude and behavior should also be prioritized. By doing so, Air India can create a positive travel experience and pave the way for a successful future.


By Jungchan Lee/Korea Travel News