1. Indigo passenger manhandling: Aditya Ghosh says sorry, sacks staffers, but defends staff

Indigo passenger manhandling: Aditya Ghosh says sorry, sacks staffers, but defends staff

Civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju on Wednesday strongly condemned the assault on a passenger by IndiGo staff and has sought an independent report from regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), saying that fisticuffs are not acceptable in a civilised society.

By: | Published: November 9, 2017 5:40 AM
Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Directorate General of Civil Aviation, DGCA, IndiGo staff Civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju on Wednesday strongly condemned the assault on a passenger by IndiGo staff and has sought an independent report from regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), saying that fisticuffs are not acceptable in a civilised society. (Image: IE)

Civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju on Wednesday strongly condemned the assault on a passenger by IndiGo staff and has sought an independent report from regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), saying that fisticuffs are not acceptable in a civilised society. The minister also said that the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) will check whether certain procedures were violated, as the incident happened in the security area.  The development follows after a video surfaced on Tuesday showing IndiGo staff assaulting a passenger at the Delhi airport on October 15 on the tarmac  — a security area that falls under the airside. nbRaju said that in a civilised society, there is no place for violence. “Fisticuffs of any kind have to be condemned and we want to condemn these kinds of incidents,” he told reporters.

The DGCA has been asked to submit an independent report on the incident, he said while stressing that such barbarous things should not happen. Earlier in the day, IndiGo promoter Rahul Bhatia held meetings with Raju and civil aviation secretary RN Choubey. Commenting on the incident, Choubey said “this is not on”.
Soon after the video surfaced, minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha condemned the incident and has sought a report from the airline. Meanwhile, IndiGo on Wednesday wrote a letter to the ministry apologising for the incident but maintained that the employee was doing his work. In the video, a passenger is first seen being stopped from entering a coach, and then being pulled back by a ground staff. Another airline employee is seen restraining the traveller. The passenger is seen fighting back and falling to the ground in the melee.

“At the very outset, let me start off by acknowledging that we were at fault and we not only apologise for the regrettable incident, we have also taken action,” IndiGo president and whole-time director Aditya Ghosh wrote in a letter Raju. He said that he apologised to the passenger on the same day the incident took place and the employees involved were immediately suspended. While giving a chronology of events in the letter, Ghosh also backed his employee Juby Thomas who was seen in the video entering into a scuffle with the passenger. “He was indeed doing his work and ensuring safety of passengers,” the letter said. It said Thomas was asking the passenger to move away from a catering lift to “prevent any accident”.

However, when the passenger could not hear Thomas, the latter “started shouting in a much louder voice to overcome the very loud ambient noise around the aircraft”, which might have been construed as rude by the passenger, it said. According to IndiGo, the passenger abused the airline staff and the employee turned around and asked him why was he abusing. Ghosh has included screenshots of the video to explain how the events unfolded last month. The airline also defended its move to sack another ground staff Montu Kalra for shooting the video and said he “instigated the incident”. “The ex-employee, Montu Kalra who was terminated and is claiming to be the ‘whistleblower’, is the one you can hear shouting in the video and instructing the other two colleagues who were junior to him to prevent the customer from boarding the bus and holding him back at the ramp area itself,” Ghosh wrote.

  1. P
    prabhu
    Nov 9, 2017 at 1:45 pm
    Whatever that passenger might have said but the act of Indigo staff is not acceptable. Shame to Indigo.
    Reply
    1. P
      prabhu
      Nov 9, 2017 at 1:42 pm
      Airways employees respect only politicians and also slapped by them.
      Reply
      1. s singh
        Nov 9, 2017 at 9:47 am
        Indigo should be fined heavily for such misbehavior with passenger. case passenger was wrong, they must know how to deal otherwise but can never resort fight.
        Reply
        1. A
          augustus
          Nov 9, 2017 at 8:56 am
          Isn't it surprising that the staffers didn't stop the bus and call the police? Why did they take the law in their own hands? Sacking some small time employees is not an answer to perhaps a culture problem where customers are treated as they were.
          Reply
          1. L
            Lal
            Nov 9, 2017 at 8:04 am
            It is the culture in the organisation that decides the behaviour of the employees. It may be that Indigoon encourages physical handling of its people. Just saying sorry is nothing. The affected person is shamed for life. Many organisations do such things and get away with it. Criminal proceedings should be initiated against the employees and the CEO.
            Reply
            1. S
              Shyamsunder
              Nov 9, 2017 at 8:00 am
              Aditya Gosh, not just your staff, even you and your organisation has lost it. This will now lead to the big fall of an lousy airline. If your staff is treated well then your customers are treated well. It’s that simple equation. I am sure many looking at this video will share the same message.
              Reply
              1. K
                karan bhardwaj
                Nov 9, 2017 at 7:41 am
                Growing market share resulting in bloating ego of the airline and its staff.... They have to make amends and remember they are operating in hospitality travel segment... IndiGo needs to be sensitive...
                Reply
                1. Jaijawan Jaikisan
                  Nov 9, 2017 at 7:22 am
                  This is all media pressure doing unethical b assassination with partial facts. Its the passenger who hit the staff first as can be seen in video
                  Reply
                  1. N
                    Nirmal
                    Nov 9, 2017 at 7:11 am
                    Non sense response from indigo.people should stop using indigo flight
                    Reply
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