Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju has said that the matter is being looked into.
After news broke of an Indian MP misbehaving with an employee of Air India on a flight, five other Indian carriers took a stand against the behaviour and have effectively banned the MP from their flights in support of the staffer.
Ravindra Gaikwad, an MP in India’s lower house, seemingly lost his cool and slapped an Air India manager, Sukumar Raman, after being told to deboard the flight so the crew could clean it. During this altercation, Gaikwad reportedly not only slapped the staffer but also went on to beating him with his slipper. A video also came to light showing a stewardess beseeching the MP to stop to no avail.
As the incident gained national prominence, Air India announced that it had cancelled his return ticket. An unprecedented show of solidarity followed by other airlines in the country, with IndiGo also announcing that it had cancelled his tickets while condemning violence.
Soon, the Federation of Indian Airlines, which comprises IndiGo, Jet Airways, SpiceJet and GoAir, came out with a statement to show support to Air India. Air Asia has also thrown its weight behind this move.
Image for representation. Photo source: Facebook
Ujjwal Dey, Associate Director of the FIA, has been quoted in the Indian Express as saying, “Air India and FIA member airlines have decided to ban this Member of Parliament 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.”
Meanwhile, Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju has said that the ministry will look into the case. The airline has also filed two police cases against the MP – one for physical assault and another for delaying a flight.