Speaking on the recent Air India row, MoS Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha on Saturday said Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad apologised and gave an undertaking for desired conduct. “Mr Gaikwad apologised and provided undertaking that such incidents will not reoccur. Therefore AI was advised to revoke ban,” Jayant Sinha said. “Police investigations regarding his conduct during incident are underway and the law will take its course,” Jayant Sinha added. The minister said that soon a national no-fly list can be implemented to prevent such incidents. “MoCA is strengthening rules so that national no-fly list can be implemented,such incidents can be prevented&safety improved,” he said.
Earlier, it was reported that Gaikwad’s ban was lifted only after he had submitted a regret letter, not apology. According to an AI spokesperson, the move follows a written order from the ministry of civil aviation. “AI is committed to ensuring its employees are not assaulted or misbehaved with. We will take strong action to preserve dignity of our employees,” AI said. However, the ban on the MP by private airlines still continues.
Gaikwad, who’s the MP from Osmanabad in Maharashtra, had on Thursday written a letter to civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju expressing his “regrets” over the “unfortunate incident” on March 23.
“I write to convey my regrets for the unfortunate incident that took place on March 23, 2017, in the Air India Flight No AI-852 seat No 1F,” Gaikwad had said in the letter. While the ban has been lifted, the police investigation into the matter would continue.
Gaikwad had assaulted an Air India employee and had boastfully claimed on national TV about having hit him with his footwear 25 times. He was banned by the airline on March 24. However, the MP on Thursday played the victim card, claiming he had only retaliated when provoked.