Kunal Kamra was put in a no-fly list after he posted a video mocking Republic TV anchor Arnab Goswami.
Comedian Kunal Kamra, who was barred from flying by four airlines over a video in which he heckled news anchor Arnab Goswami, posted a photo of him taking a flight on Sunday. The comedian flew on one of the airlines that hasn't banned him.
In a tweet, Kamra posted a photo of him posing in an airport in front of a Vistara counter and wrote,"My airport look all thanks to @airvistara following due process..."
— Kunal Kamra (@kunalkamra88) February 2, 2020
AirAsia India and Vistara had told The Indian Express that they were waiting for a direct instruction form the government to bar Kamra. A senior executive from one of the airlines said on the condition of anonymity that they could not consider a tweet as an official instruction.
"We need to follow the DGCA rules, which require such matters to be investigated first by an internal committee. Even if we were to go by what the government is saying, we need to follow the process, and it was not possible in a matter of a few hours.” the official said.
Many who came across Kamra's tweet praised the airline for not acting hastily acting following the incident. Here are some of the reactions:
Dear @airvistara if you have or starting international services towards Middle East, Africa and Europe. I’ll travel with you for next 5 years without complaining on ur services or efficiency for the courage you’ve shown in times of adversity.
— junaid احمد جنید (@ahmedjunaid007) February 2, 2020
— Ayaaz Ahmad Qaasmi (@Ayaz_Ind) February 2, 2020
— Anu M (@stylistanu) February 2, 2020
Good job @airvistara. At times not following the herd is the best thing for society. Thanks!
— Arijit Ghosh (@Chukai_Ghosh) February 2, 2020
The cap looks amazing, Kunal! 🧢🔵🔴
— FCB Mumbai (@fcbmumbai) February 2, 2020
Slap on 3 idiots-IndiGo, GoAir & Spicejet. Their loss is Vistara's gain!!
— Joseph C V (@joseph_vengal) February 2, 2020
— Khadeer Bukhari (@BukhariKhadeer) February 2, 2020
Vistara has earned our respect✊🏽 . Shall always prefer this Airline over the other bootlickers.
— Sheeba Aslam Fehmi (@SheebaAslamFehm) February 2, 2020
Karma to haters after flight: pic.twitter.com/Nv4ZIjZVSm
— Akshay Kashyap (@Liberal_Tiger) February 2, 2020
My respect for Vistara only goes up. Long live TATA
— Sandeep Singh4 (@Sandeep10787256) February 2, 2020
Government officials told The Indian Express that IndiGo’s move to ban the Mumbai-based stand-up comedian for six months was not in line with laid-down regulations which stipulate that pending a decision by an internal committee of the airline concerned, it “may ban such (an) unruly passenger from flying, but such period may not exceed a period of 30 days”. (Kunal Kamra barred on flights – What are the rules?)
The pilot of the flight on which Kamra and Goswami were travelling conveyed to IndiGo that he was “disheartened to learn that my airline has taken action in this case solely on the basis of social media posts, with no consultation whatsoever with the Pilot-in-Command”.
However, Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri defended the six-month flight ban imposed by four airlines on Kamra, saying an incident similar to this in a country like the US would have resulted in the passenger being “locked up’’ after the flight landed.
On February 1, Kamra sent a legal notice to IndiGo demanding an unconditional apology, a revocation of the ban and a compensation of Rs 25 lakh.