Govt intervenes, Air India revokes flight ban on Ravindra Gaikwad
Nearly two weeks after Air India imposed a ban on Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad from flying following his alleged assault on the national carrier’s staffer, the airline India today revoked the ban imposed on him with immediate effect.
According to Air India, the ban was revoked after the airline received a letter to this effect from the Civil Aviation ministry.
"We have lifted the ban on Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad with immediate effect, soon after receiving the instructions from Aviation ministry," an Air India spokesperson said.
Sources said that other private airline carriers are also likely to follow Air India's decision and revoke ban on Ravindra Gaikwad.
Air India said that in view of the apology tendered by Gaikwad and the undertaking of conduct being given by him, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has advised Air India and other private airlines to lift ban on him.
In a letter to the Civil Aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju on the "unfortunate incident" yesterday, Gaikwad had expressed 'regret' over the incident. It was following this letter that the Aviation ministry wrote to Air India to revoke the ban on the unrepentant MP.
"I write to convey my regrets for the unfortunate incident that took place on 23rd March, 2017 in the Air India Flight No. AI-852 seat No. 1F," Gaikwad said.
Meanwhile, the national carrier has also said that it is consultation with the MoCA for establishing a National No Fly list to deal with unruly passengers in an effective manner.
The decision comes hours after Air India cancelled two tickets of the parliamentarian again, signalling it was unwilling to compromise until the leader apologised.
News agency ANI today reported that Air India had cancelled the MP’s Delhi-Mumbai and Mumbai-Delhi tickets April 17 and 24, respectively.
âWhen the MP was quizzed about the development, he replied, “I have not made anyone booking. Few people are deliberately making bookings in my name. Yesterday, I raised this issued inside the Parliament and demanded that Aadhar must be made mandatory for booking flight tickets.”
Yesterday, Gaikwad had appeared in the Lok Sabha and delivered his version of the March 23 incident. Seeking to play the victim, Gaikwad blamed the Air India staffer for instigating the violence and made no mention of hitting him, something that he had bragged about soon after the incident.
Gaikwad has been at the centre of a row over assaulting an Air India employee after he was made to fly in the economy class. Soon after this, Air India and several private airlines blacklisted him from flying.