The Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA) and Air India have decided on Friday to ban Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad from flying on all their airlines, which include Air India, IndiGo, SpiceJet, Go Air and Jet Airways. Gaikwad had beaten up an Air India officer on Thursday.
The MP has refused to apologise to the Air India officer on Friday and said that the AI officer needs to apologise. When informed that he was banned from flying by four private airlines, he said that he had a booking for Friday.
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The FIA's association director, Ujjwal Dey, had earlier said: "We have not banned the MP. We do not have powers to ban anyone. In any case, Air India is not part of the FIA."
Air India's senior officials were scheduled to meet on Friday to discuss how to blacklist Gaikwad and create a no-fly list. IndiGo reportedly lent support to Air India regarding the no-fly list.
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"We will support a no-fly list," IndiGo President and Whole Time Director Aditya Ghosh told PTI.
On Thursday, Gaikwad had hit a 60-year-old Air India officer with a slipper after not being given a business class seat after insisting on boarding an all-economy flight. The national carrier Air India has filed two FIRs against the MP, while the Shiv Sena has sought an explanation from him.
In a display of brazen impunity, Gaikwad had written a letter to Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan lising the problems he faced in boarding the flight. The MP's action seems to indicate that he believes that beating a 60-year-old professional for "problems" faced by him is justified.
The BJP and Shiv Sena are in alliance in Maharashtra.