While IndiGo was first to show interest in buying the up-for-sale Air India , the recent brawl involving an IndiGo staff member and one of their passengers became a marketing opportunity for the state carrier. As Twitterati was having a field day after video of the scuffle went viral, Air India took a dig at the country's leading private carrier, promising "Unbeatable Service".
Air India posted two advertisements on its Twitter handle yesterday, in a veiled jibe at IndiGo after the private airlines made headlines for manhandling passenger and ended up drawing flak from all quarters.
In one of the ads, the Air India promised "Unbeatable Service" with the letters 'beat' highlighted in blue -- the theme colour of IndiGo. The second ad depicted the Air India's mascot 'Maharaja' in his trademark inviting style with a tag line that read, "We raise our hands ONLY to say Namaste."
After the government approved disinvestment in Air India, IndiGo was the first to express interest in buying stakes in the loss-making public airlines.
The private airline, meanwhile, came in for criticism on Twitter for the last month's incident with some calling for its boycott.
"A no fly ban is a must on this airline till these guys are arrested with an attempt to murder #BoycottIndigo," tweeted Aditya Thackeray, the president of Shiv Sena's youth wing.
"This kind of arrogant behaviour seems to have become the norm for @IndiGo6E. I hear of rude behaviour instances by Indigo on regular basis," BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain posted on the microblogging site.
Former Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi mentioned in a tweet, "After seeing the brutal assault on a passenger, almost throttling him to death, should Indigo not be boycotted - at least for a month?"
"Hey @IndiGo6E, my aged parents are flying a couple of weeks later. Given the recent incident involving a senior citizen, can you guarantee their safety, or shall I rebook them on a different carrier," asked Amrit Panigrahy.
"Cancelled my #indigo flight to jet. Better food and less chances of getting beaten up," posted Meenu Arora.
"First @Pvsindhu1 and now this.. I am not traveling @IndiGo6E till they apologise," wrote another Twitter user.
Alongside the dire comments and scathing remarks, a slew of jokes on IndiGo also featured in several posts on social media.
"Have enrolled for kalari payattu classes. Have an Indigo flight 3 weeks later," tweeted Ushy Mohan Das.
A Twitter post where the user is asking IndiGo to beat up his boss who is travelling with the airline, a fake Jet Airways advertisement and more have also surfaced since the incident at Delhi airport came to light.
Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju has sought an independent inquiry into the incident from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.
IndiGo has also written to the ministry apologising for the incident and admitting that it was at fault. However, it defended the employee seen in the video entering into a brawl and said "he was doing his work" and trying to ensure the safety of the passenger.
Watch the video below: