Air India on Wednesday has derostered a pilot as well as a crew member after a public spat broke out between them when the captain allegedly asked the crew member to wash his tiffin box. The incident took place on June 17 on Air India flight AI 772 which was travelling from Bengaluru to Kolkata.
According to reports, before the flight was about to take off from Bengaluru, the pilot finished his lunch and asked a crew member to wash his tiffin box for him. The crew member refused, saying that it was not a part of the crew’s job description to do such chores, and a heated argument broke out in front of all the passengers. Other crew members present on board intervened and managed to calm both of them down. As a result of the argument, the flight was delayed by 77 minutes.
As per news agency ANI, an Air India official confirmed the incident and an inquiry has been launched into the issue. The pilot and the crew member were both summoned to Air India headquarters in New Delhi and have been grounded as an initial penalty. The incident has also been reported to the aviation regulator, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
Air India chairman Ashwani Lohani has been apprised of the incident and according to reports, he has expressed his annoyance over the incident. “This nonsense has to stop and will stop,” he was quoted as saying.
Air India is now mulling a ban on pilots bringing their own food onboard an aircraft, PTI reports.
Speaking to the Times of India, a senior Air India cabin crew member stated that often pilots bring their lunch from home and ask crew members to heat, serve their meals and even make them do chores like asking them to roast almonds for them, chop onions and serving them ‘cheese toasts and fruit salads.’
A senior official told PTI that the airline carrier has taken serious note of the incident and has unofficially asked pilots not to bring their own food on flights.
On March 27, Air India had asked its pilots not to order special meals for themselves during the flights. The airline carrier had asked the pilots to adhere to the meal schedule that was laid down by the company.