In a shocking incident, a passenger physically assaulted an Indigo airline pilot while he was making an announcement regarding the delay of the flight.The video of the incident went viral on social media on Monday, January 15, sparking outrage. Many social media users called for a strong action against the passenger and appealed to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation to include the perpetrator in the ‘No Fly List,’ preventing him from taking flights in the future.
The IndiGo flight (6E-2175) from Delhi to Goa was said to be delayed for 13 hours due to fog. According to reports, the airline has filed a complaint against the passenger identified as Sahil.
The video shows the passenger, Sahil Kataraia, wearing a yellow hoodie and running towards the pilot while he makes the announcement and punches him. The pilot who was attacked had just replaced the old crew as per the Flight Duty Time Limitations (FDTL) norms. FDTL ensures that pilots and flight attendants get adequate rest periods to mitigate fatigue-related safety concerns.
Reacting to the incident, social media users criticised the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) of India and demanded the passenger to be arrested. On her X (formerly Twitter) social media handle, journalist Sucheta Dalal wrote, “stunning and actionable - but it is time that @DGCAIndia wakes up and makes airlines accountable. Even foreign ones and on international flights. People are paying high fares, booking in advance, missing international flights or being downgraded unceremoniously without compensation or alternatives after having booked months and months in advance!! Will govt wake up only after more fights break out? @JM_Scindia”
Politicians also took to the social media platform to express their concerns. All India Congress Committee member Pawan Khera wrote, “Airports and social media are buzzing with complaints from irate passengers who have been stuck inside planes, airports and even aerobridges for hours. Inordinate delays, unresponsive customer care, absolute unaccountability by airlines is troubling flyers, who are helplessly tagging @DGCAIndia and the aviation minister. However, the Minister, the Ministry and the Media have observed radio silence. Had the Congress been in govt, this situation would have witnessed 24/7 non stop media coverage - and rightly so. #Indigo #NyayKaHaqMilneTak.”
More than 100 flights were delayed or diverted on Sunday, January 14, due to heavy fog in North India. Major airlines such as Vistara, IndiGo, and SpiceJet have warned that the adverse weather conditions in Delhi and Kolkata could further lead to change in flight schedules.