Why are Rodents Rattling Air India?
As rats are being spotted with increasing frequency on Air India Dreamliners, the state-owned carrier needs to come out with some information. First, is there any indication of the provenance of these stowaways? Whether they are Indian-born or nefarious infiltrators from foreign nations could have a bearing on their activities on board the expensive aircraft. Conventional wisdom decrees that aircraft with rodents on board must land as soon as possible as the creatures nibble on-board wiring, compromising the safety of the aircraft and passengers. And, is there any indication that AI wires are indeed the attraction? They could just as well be drawn to the airline’s rather under-appreciated cuisine, which is also not immune to furry freeloaders.
Most concern-worthy is the prospect that the rats’ intentions could be more villainous. Hijacking, of course, is out of the question, but their sudden appearances midway through long-haul flights have led to emergency landings at the nearest airports, which disrupt the airline’s improving ontime performance. AI should look more closely at the incidents and tail the intruders to decipher any patterns. Meanwhile, putting air-mousers on susceptible flights — à la the cat employed by the British Foreign Office — would be a costeffective solution till a way is found to stop the influx.