Air India Is Taking Their Rat Problem More Seriously… Or So They Claim…

Filed Under: Air India

It’s sort of scary how often we hear stories about Air India flights being diverted due to rats onboard. For example, this past Saturday an Air India Boeing 787 bound from Melbourne to Delhi was diverted to Singapore after a rat was spotted onboard.

It might sound like a joke, or like something out of Samuel L Jackson’s “Snakes On A Plane” movie, but this actually has the potential to be very dangerous. It could be catastrophic if a rat bit through an aircraft’s wiring. It could lead to a loss of control, given that most planes have fly-by-wire technology nowadays.


Fortunately it looks like Air India is finally taking their rat problem seriously, including their chairman personally carrying out an inspection at Delhi Airport, and also instructing the staff on proper protocols (admittedly him carrying out an inspection was probably more symbolic than anything, since it’s probably not his area of expertise).

Via Business Standard:

After the frequent grounding of its aircraft due to rodents, Air India chairman Ashwani Lohani carried out an inspection at Delhi airport and directed the staff to ensure strict maintenance and cleanliness of the hi-lift trucks used by catering companies.

Also, staff of the government-owned airline will be restrained from eating meals in the ramp area (where the aircraft is parked during boarding). “We have also requested Delhi International Airport Ltd to provide space for a staff canteen,” said Lohani.

“We are tightening the maintenance and cleanliness of food hi-lifts by private caterers. I did a long inspection on the ramp today and am certain things will improve,” Lohani stated.

Air-India-First-Class - 14
Air India’s 777 first class

Botton line

I’ll be curious to see if the number of diversions and cancellations at Air India due to rats actually decreases. This is something which needs to be taken seriously, not just because of the potential cost of diversions, but because of the safety implications.

  1. Dirty Indian rats flying with the rest. Love it…and no surprise.

    The other rodents are in the seats.

  2. They could cut costs and just add them to the menu du jour, call it Ratatouille. Seriously, if India was so great why have millions either emigrated or standing in lines blocks long in front of Western embassies in Dehli. Maybe ask the rats, even they’re trying to get a flight out of there. But once the plane lands, the rat will scurry out and start a new colony. India with 1.2 billion is hopeless. Enjoy your flight.

  3. Mr. Ben your blog has seriously become a platform for mean racist fanatics. Rodents on a plane is a serious issue but linking it to indian populace is downright sick. Just because u were born into a rich western country doesnt u call others hopeless and rodents.

  4. Haven’t seen any pic/vid of these rodents so far. Even though other airlines have pest related issues they are able to keep news in control but not AI. Either AI still using traditional pest control techniques or this could be a campaign against AI.

    British rats fly only EK F. There is video evidence.

    It was sighted on MEL-DEL, not sure your theory holds true.

  5. @Chris The reason why Indians are emigrating is pretty much the same reason Europeans emigrated to the Americas. Their home country is overcrowded and there is a lack of opportunities whereas the Americas are underpopulated so someone with half a brain and even a trace of a work ethic can make a good living. Life is easy in America and Europe and everyone wants to take the easy way. I don’t see you trying to emigrate to India and do it the hard way.

  6. @Chris, oh you didn’t know, ask your rodent great grand father why he emigrated to wherever the fuck he went to colonize a native land that belonged to rats of that region. Looks like he started the emigration problem and the rats are just giving it back .

  7. @Chris S

    ‘Cuase it’s easy, pays more and frankly there aren’t enough intelligent Westerners to actually contribute to the global intellectual growth – hence why all the senior R&D leaders and business directors at my Fortune 100 company are from the sub-continent and pretty much why all research at Western Universities are conducted by individuals from Asia.

    As alarming as rat infestations are, this is not rare. The India media really loves to take shots at AI. I have experienced such delays and cancellations on pretty much most of the major global airlines over the last 40 years of frequent flying.

    @me: are you really this obnoxious, racist, and idiotic in person? I can only assume that someone with your personality lacks any form of human contact or companionship. If not, god bless whoever associates with you.

    To the morons above:

  8. May be because Air India still serving food on their planes!! No rat will waste its energy if airline serves only pretzels.

  9. Hey @’Kent’ let me guess you are married to a Indian rat. Take your PC non-sense and move to India…would be best.

  10. “all the senior R&D leaders and business directors at my Fortune 100 company are from the sub-continent and pretty much why all research at Western Universities are conducted by individuals from Asia.”

    Let’s not over-exaggerate things.

  11. @Aaron – how is that an exaggeration? I am a technical leader at Dow Chemicals, have spent the last 35 years at multiple materials and engineering firms and work throughout the US based out of the bay area. Our current and former senior R&D leaders are either from India or China. From my experience during my graduate degrees and from discussions with my children who are pursuing technical degrees, I would safely say that 60-80% of the graduate community (professors and students) at the most renowned institutions were from India, China or Korea. There are facts to back up all of this too.

  12. This site used to present high quality information and sophisticated articles in the past. Now, the quality of the blog is diminishing due to the non-sense in the comments section.

    @Ben – I enjoy your trip-reports and credit card advice. I admire your practice of non-censorship. However, I strongly feel that you would redeem the quality of your blog by removing irrelevant comments and posts by participants.

  13. “me” is part of modern day competitive airline marketing strategy to tarnish competitors image. Goal is to steer away few pax with each story. Unfortunately it works. There is no way to rebut without breaking cyber decency rules.

  14. To the white racists in the comments above, you’re insecure about the jobs you are losing to us. But your sh!tty comments make me sooo happy that we are stealing your jobs. I used to be slightly conflicted, but heck no. Not anymore. You’re getting what you deserve.

  15. @Indian

    When Indians themselves made taking potshots at AI as national sport and TOIlet media never misses an opportunity, there is no point in using race card.

    A simple Google search or reading avherald will show AI issues are rather trivial but gets worldwide coverage.

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