All airlines ban Gaikwad post assault on AI staff

New Delhi [India], Mar. 24 (ANI): All the airlines have banned Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad from boarding their flights a day after he beat an Air India staff with his slipper.

IndiGo cancelled Gaikwad's ticket for the Delhi-Pune flight, which he had booked for today.

Later, another airline Vistara too banned the 56-year-old MP from boarding its flight.

"Disruptive and abusive behaviour by passengers is a serious issue and cannot be tolerated, both for safety and security reasons in a critical and sensitive industry such as aviation, as well for the safety and well-being of our staff and all other passengers. We support the statement made by Air India and the FIA, and are in full solidarity with them in support of the ban. The concerned individual will be barred from flying on any of our flights with immediate effect," a Vistara spokesperson said in a statement.

The spokesperson further said the airlines also fully supports the promulgation of a "no fly" list and concur with the Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA) and Air India in seeking the support of the government and security agencies to enforce such a directive whereby passengers on the "no fly list" would not be permitted to fly on any of the airlines.

Earlier in the day, the MP from Osmanabad in Maharashtra downplayed reports suggesting that Air India is considering banning him from boarding its flights.

"I have the tickets, they can't blacklist me. I will board the Delhi-Pune Air India flight this evening. How can they not allow me?" he said.

Gaikwad also remained unapologetic about the incident and dared the Delhi Police to arrest him.

"I will not apologise. It was not my fault, it was his fault. He should apologise. First ask him to apologise then we will see," Gaikwad told the media.

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has sought a report to determine the facts before he decides on what happens next for Gaikwad.

Air India Duty Manager Sukumar, who was assaulted by Gaikwad, today asserted that the elected representatives need to behave in a decent manner.

"I am not scared at all, either with Gaikwad or with the Shiv Sena. I have been serving public and have also faced many who get irritated on such issues. It's a common thing for me," he added.

Sukumar further said that he had requested Gaikwad to deboard the aircraft as cleaning staff had to complete their work following which he got angry.

"I had requested him (Gaikwad) to de-board the aircraft as the cleaning staff had to complete their work. On which he got furious and raised his hands," said Sukumar.

Earlier, the Centre also took cognizance of the incident and assured a thorough probe into the matter. (ANI)