Indian airlines bar lawmaker in new airport rage case


NEW DEHLI: Indian airlines on Friday barred a lawmaker from their flights for unruly behaviour in the second case in three months against a top politician accused of abusing staff.

J.C Diwakar Reddy, from the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, allegedly pushed IndiGo airline staff and used abusive language at Visakhapatnam airport after he was too late to board a flight.

Civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju, a lawmaker from Reddy’s regional Telegu Desam Party (TDP), ordered an inquiry into the incident.

Raju said on Twitter he would “find out the exact details and ensure that lawful outcomes follow”.

IndiGo, Air India, SpiceJet, Jet Airways and two budget airlines have already barred Reddy from their flights, Press Trust of India news agency said.

In March, India airlines acted against Ravindra Gaikwad, a hotheaded lawmaker from Maharashtra state, after he repeatedly hit a 60-year-old steward with his sandal in a row over a plane seat.

Gaikwad finally expressed remorse over the incident in parliament and his flying ban was revoked.

Last year a lawmaker was arrested on charges of assaulting an airline official after he and his family were prevented from boarding a flight because the gate had closed.

Indigo released a statement confirming the latest incident of “unruly behaviour” at Visakhapatnam airport on Thursday.

“Mr Reddy, who was scheduled to fly with IndiGo … to Hyderabad reported 28 minutes prior to the scheduled departure. The staff politely informed him that boarding for flight is closed,” it said.

“Mr Reddy expressed his annoyance and soon raged against the staff using aggressive and abusive behaviour,” the airline said.

Reddy did not immediately comment.