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Air India 'blacklists' Shiv Sena MP, tells staff to file police complaint against unruly passengers

Air India is mulling preparing a no-fly list for unruly passengers following an incident today at the IGI airport here in which a Shiv Sena MP allegedly assaulted a 60-year-old airline staffer with slippers.

India TV News Desk, New Delhi [ Updated: March 24, 2017 9:45 IST ]
Air India mulls no-fly list
Image Source : REPRESENTATIONAL IMAGE Air India mulls no-fly list

Air India on Friday blacklisted "unruly" Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad who admitted to assaulting an airline staffer "25 times" with his shoes and attempted to throw him out of the aircraft on Thursday.

An Air India official confirmed to IANS that the order "blacklisting him with immediate effect" has been issued, but the period and other details are not yet available.

A common practice among many international and some Indian private airlines for safety and security reasons, this is the first time that the national carrier has introduced such a 'blacklist' of rowdy passengers.

Ironically, the first law-breaker who figures on the Air India 'blacklist' happens to be a law-maker from Maharashtra, a former teacher with two terms as legislator and now a first-time MP from Osmanabad district.

Late Thursday, the Air India said it was "examining the possibility of creating a 'no fly' list of unruly passengers on the lines of other airlines," after lodging two separate FIRs against Gaikwad - for assaulting a shift manager and delaying a scheduled flight to Goa.

On Thursday, 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. 

Meanwhile, Air India chief Ashwini Lohani asked the staff not to wait for an approval to file a police complaint in case of misbehaviour of assault by a passenger. 

“While we have filed two FIRs it is necessary that in all such cases of a passenger misbehaving i.e assaulting air India staff, the airport manager would invariably lodge an FIR with the local police without waiting for any approvals,” Lohani said in a statement released to the staff.

There have been several reported incidents of unruly behaviour by the fliers onboard various airlines in the recent times. 

Last month, AirAsia India filed a police complaint in Bangalore 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 flight from Dubai for New Delhi. 

According to the officials, between July 2016 and February 2017, 53 incidents of unruly behaviour by the passengers have been reported by the domestic airlines. 

According to the global aviation body, International Air Transport Association (IATA), "unruly passengers" are one of the top three safety issues that concern cabin crew. 

As per the IATA, in 2015, there were 10,854 reported cases of unruly behaviour by the passengers across airlines worldwide, which translate into one incident for every 1,205 flights.

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