IndiGo Airlines has responded to the assault of one of their pilots by a passenger on a Goa bound flight from Delhi saying that they have a “zero tolerance policy towards any such unacceptable behaviour”. IndiGo has also said in their statement, released on Tuesday, January 16, that the matter has been referred to an “independent internal committee for appropriate action and inclusion of the customer on the 'no-fly list’ as laid down in regulatory guidelines”.
The incident occurred on January 14, on the Delhi-Goa 6E-2175 flight that had been delayed for 15 hours due to heavy fog in New Delhi. The incident came to light the following day after a video of a passenger in a yellow hoodie punching a pilot making announcements about further delays went viral. The passenger has now been identified as Sahil Kataraia. In another video that later surfaced, Sahil was seen attempting to apologise to the pilot after being deboarded. In the second video, Sahil walks down the ramp and extends his hand to someone outside the frame, saying “sorry”. A man’s voice off camera can be heard saying, “No, there’s no sorry. You laid a hand on me.”
According to IANS, Sahil has been released on bail after he was arrested earlier under Section 41 of the CrPC (arrest without warrant). IANS also reports that Sahil runs a toy and stationery shop in Delhi’s Amar Colony and had been on the way to his honeymoon with his wife.
Meanwhile, another passenger who was on the same flight and witnessed the assault told India Today on January 15, “This pilot came on and said ‘You guys are asking too many questions. Because of you, we missed our spot in the queue for take-off. Because of you we have to wait for longer.’ He blamed passengers. Of course it is 100% wrong to hit him, but why blame the passengers? He is supposed to understand that everybody is pissed off and nervous. He was supposed to support them and make them feel better. (sic)”
Over a 100 flights to and from New Delhi have been hit by extraordinary delays in the last few days thanks to heavy fog. Incidentally, yet another video has no gone viral showing passengers on a different IndiGo flight enroute to Delhi picnicking on the Mumbai airport tarmac after a reported 12-hour delay.