• Air India considering no-fly list after MP assaults staffer

    Air India is examining creating a no-fly list for unruly passengers — a negative entry list which will mean that a person mentioned in that will not be allowed to fly on flights operated by the national carrier.

    This follows an incident on Thursday at the IGI airport here in which Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad assaulted an Air India staffer after he was upset that despite having a business class ticket he was made to travel in the economy class.

    Sources told BusinessLine that early on Thursday the airline received a call from the MP’s staff that Gaikwad would be travelling to Delhi from Pune on AI 852. Since the MP was holding an “open business class” ticket, the airline staff informed them that they could consider travelling on another AI flight as business class seating on that particular flight had been discontinued. Sources in AI claimed that Gaikwad agreed to travel on the flight despite knowing that there was no business class seating in it.

    However, when the flight landed in Delhi at 9.40, Gaikwad was “agitated” and declined to get off the aircraft demanding that senior officials of the rank of Chairman and other Directors come to meet him and address his complaint on the spot.

    Sukumar, a former Air India crew member who was the senior most person at the AISATS, was deputed to pacify the MP. AISATS, an airport services company, is a 50:50 joint venture between Air India Ltd and SATS Ltd, a leading gateway services and food solutions provider..

    The MP lost his temper when Sukumar told him that being an elected representative of the people, he should conduct himself accordingly. In reaction to this, the MP took off his slipper and hit the AISATS employee and pushed him out of the aircraft’s exit door. Sources claimed that crew members and others intervened and physically restrained the MP from causing further harm to the employee.

    Sources also claim that Air India and Sukumar will be registering FIRs against the MP. Air India will register the FIR for “forcibly holding the flight, due to which it was delayed by 40 minutes.” Justin Bailey Jersey

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