In unanimity with Air India, top private airlines who are members of the Federation of Indian Airlines banned the defiant Shiv Sena MP who assaulted a 60-year-old Air India duty manager at IGI airport in New Delhi on Thursday.
Setting an example, in a rare step, the airlines along with Air India banned Gaikwad from immediate effect.
Air India has cancelled his return ticket from Delhi to Pune at 4 pm on Friday.
The Federation of Indian Airlines is an apex industry body which was formed by the scheduled carriers in India. Top private airlines like Indigo, Jet, SpiceJet and GoAir are the members of the FIA.
Later, Vistara, too joined the move to ban the MP.
In a joint statement with Air India, Ujjwal Dey of FIA said, "Air India and Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA, which comprises IndiGo, Jet, SpiceJet and GoAir) member airlines have decided to ban this MP from flying on all our flights with immediate effect. We believe that exemplary action should be taken in such incidents to protect employee morale and public safety".
Condemning the bizzare incident, Dey added, "AI and the member airlines of the FIA condemn the assault on an AI staff member by a passenger who happens to be an MP+ on March 23, 2017. The airlines demand that strict action be taken against the MP by law enforcement agencies. We believe that an assault on any one of our employees is an assault on all of us and on ordinary law abiding citizens of our country who work hard to earn a living".
Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju also criticised the shameful behaviour of the MP and said such regrettable incidents should never happen again.
Recd. report from @airindiain on the incident of unruly behaviour today morning. FIRs have been filed for assault and causing flight delayAshok Gajapathi Raju (@Ashok_Gajapathi) March 23, 2017
"We are also working on creating institutional mechanisms to check undesirable flight behaviour or unruly passengers," Raju said in a series of tweets.
Such regrettable incidents should never happen again. Let's all resolve to make them a thing of the past.Ashok Gajapathi Raju (@Ashok_Gajapathi) March 23, 2017
Ministry has launched #AirSeva -the one-stop solution to all aviation grievances. Urge all passengers and stakeholders to use it extensivelyAshok Gajapathi Raju (@Ashok_Gajapathi) March 23, 2017
We are also working on creating institutional mechanisms to check undesirable flight behaviour or unruly passengersAshok Gajapathi Raju (@Ashok_Gajapathi) March 23, 2017
However, AirAsia India, who is not the FIA members have not yet banned the Shiv Sena MP.
Ravindra Gaikwad, who was flying on an Air India flight from Pune to Delhi, hit the airline's duty manager Sukumar with his slipper 25 times when the latter urged him to deplane .
"The MP turned violent, broke the duty manager's spectacles, tore his shirt and hit him with slippers several times," an airline source said.
Gaikwad, carrying a business class ticket, insisted on taking the airline's early morning flight AI-852 from Pune to Delhi, which is an all-economy class. This led to an argument with the airline employees in Pune and an assault on the manager by the MP when the aircraft landed in Delhi.
In recent times, there have been reported incidents of unruly behaviour by the fliers onboard various airlines.
Last month, AirAsia India filed a police complaint in Bengaluru against two drunk fliers for creating "nuisance" onboard one of its flights.
In January, IndiGo was forced to tie down a passenger to his seat for being violent onboard one of its flights from Dubai to New Delhi.
According to the officials, between July 2016 and February 2017, 53 incidents of unruly behaviour by passengers have been reported by domestic airlines.
Global aviation body International Air Transport Association (IATA) had earlier said "unruly passengers" are one of the top three safety issues that concern cabin crew.
In 2015, there were 10,854 reported cases of unruly behaviour by passengers across airlines worldwide, which translate into one incident for every 1,205 flights, according to IATA.
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