After Air India and Indigo, now GoAir, Vistara and AirAsia have decided to ban Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MP JC Diwakar Reddy from their flights. Reddy allegedly created a hullabaloo on Thursday after he was denied a boarding pass by IndiGo for arriving late as check-in for that flight had closed.
Reddy, a Lok Sabha MP from Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh had reached the airport 28 minutes before takeoff. After reaching the airport, Reddy sought to abuse his parliamentary authority and attempted to coerce officials to allow him to board the flight despite the boarding counter being closed. The flight 6E-608 was bound for Hyderabad. He got away with his actions as the airline agreed to accommodate him on the flight, which was delayed beyond its departure time of 8.10 am.
Television channels also showed CCTV visuals of him allegedly pushing an IndiGo employee.
As per norms laid out by the aviation regulator, airlines close check-in counters for all domestic fights 45 minutes prior to departure.
"The staff politely informed him that boarding for the flight is closed and offered to accommodate Mr Reddy in the subsequent flight. He expressed his annoyance and soon raged against the staff using aggressive and abusive behaviour. Any untoward conduct which compromises the safety and security of our passengers and staff is a serious concern for us. Safety and security of passengers, crew and the aircraft is the top priority and it cannot be compromised", IndiGo said in a statement.
Air India soon followed suit by barring him from its own flights. "The incident that happened at Vizag airport is a matter of concern. As IndiGo has banned the MP from travelling, Air India is also barring him," Air India spokesperson Dhananjay Kumar said.
It is not the first time that Reddy has been barred from boarding a flight. In October 2016, he reportedly arrived late at the Gannavaram Airport in Vijayawada and missed an Air India flight. He was caught on camera creating a ruckus in the Air India office and damaging furniture.
Earlier this year, Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad was temporarily banned by airlines from flying after he assaulted an Air India staffer, triggering a major controversy.
Following this, the Centre released its draft rules for a national no-fly list for unruly passengers and proposed a ban on flying from three months up to an indefinite period. The government is expected to finalise these rules shortly.
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Updated Date: Jun 16, 2017 11:19:02 IST