Pilots' body convenes emergency meeting after DGCA files complaint over WhatsApp messages

Aviation watchdog DGCA has filed a police complaint against 34 pilots for allegedly posting "obscene" messages on a WhatsApp group against its officials.

Jet Airways domestic pilots' body NAG will convene a meeting tomorrow to chart out an "action plan" following the questioning of some of its members by the Delhi Police over alleged posting of obscene messages on a WhatsApp group. The National Aviator's Guild (NAG), which claims representation of around 1,000 of the Jet Airways 1,500 pilots, would also coordinate with the two pilot unions of government-run Air India -- ICPA and IPG -- over the issue, a Guild member said today.

Sources at the Guild said the emergency meeting would be held at Chennai tomorrow to chalk out its action plan following today's development. "This is unprecedented as our members (pilots) were called by the DGCA for a meeting for some other issue and they had no idea that this was for some thing," the Guild member said. In a rare move, aviation watchdog DGCA has filed a police complaint against 34 pilots of Jet Airways, IndiGo, SpiceJet and GoAir for allegedly posting "obscene" messages on a WhatsApp group against its officials.

Acting on the complaint, Delhi Police today questioned 13 pilots, including those of Jet Airways. The member also said the pilots were questioned by the police even without any "preliminary inquiry" into the alleged complaint or a prior information to them about the complaint. The Guild has taken up the issue with the airline management and it is waiting for its "response" as well, he

"The pilots have been called in for questioning on the basis of a complaint by the DGCA. They have been called in for an inquiry," a senior police official said earlier in the day. A DGCA official said some pilots from Jet Airways, IndiGo, SpiceJet and GoAir created a WhatsApp group and some content shared on it was "offensive and abusive". The official also said that unconditional apology has come from the airlines' managements.

In a statement, Jet Airways said some of its pilots were called to record their statements by local authorities in response to a complaint. "The matter is under investigation and we are therefore
unable to comment further. Jet Airways will take appropriate measures where necessary, as per the company policy and in compliance with local law," the airline said.

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