A woman captain with Air India has shared her harrowing ordeal from when she went to dinner with a commander from the same airline in Hyderabad on May 5. The woman has accused him of sexually harassing her, asking her inappropriate and personal questions, and threatening to come to her hotel room if she did not respond to him.
According to reports, the woman pilot was being trained by the commander in Hyderabad, where they both had travelled to, from Delhi. He suggested that they have dinner at a restaurant to which she agreed. In her complaint, she said that he had seemed decent and that she had done a few flights with him. However, once the duo were at dinner, his behaviour turned inappropriate.
The commander allegedly started telling the woman that he was depressed and unhappy with in his marriage and asked her how she was dealing with her husband being away from her. “He also asked me how I coped with my husband living away and whether I didn’t need to have sex every day. He asked me if I masturbated etc.,” the woman reportedly said in her complaint.
She also told him later that she does not want to speak about all this, and called herself a taxi. However, as she waited for half an hour for the cab to arrive, the commander’s behaviour got more threatening, she said. “I was left shocked at his behaviour and felt extremely uncomfortable, scared and humiliated,” she added.
Even after she reached her hotel room, the commander’s advances allegedly did not stop, messaging her incessantly though she did not respond. He then allegedly threatened to come to her hotel room. She replied to him then, saying that she was feeling disturbed with how he was conducting himself. The senior then tried to normalise his behaviour saying that he was just “providing options” and that other people just force themselves on women.
The matter came to light after the pilot complained about the incident to the airline so that this doesn’t happen with another person in the future.
Speaking to TNM, AI spokesperson Dhananjay Kumar said, “As soon as the matter came to our notice, immediately a high level inquiry was set up.”
The accused commander has been de-rostered for now and is not on active duty at the airline.