Over two weeks after he was blacklisted and grounded by all airlines, Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad here on Monday morning took wings again on a Pune-New Delhi flight, authorities said. Reduced to train and road travel and avoiding the media glare till now, the Osmanabad MP took the Pune-New Delhi AI-852, which has now made a provision for business class travel on this particular service.
Incidentally, on March 23 it was the same flight AI-852 which did not offer business class that day leading to a serious verbal and physical altercation with the airline staffers. It culminated in the assault of a senior official, two police complaints lodged against him, blacklisting him, slapping a complete flying ban besides ruckus by Shiv Sena in the Parliament and a face-off between the two ruling BJP-led NDA constituents.
Last week, after Gaikwad tendered a letter expressing ‘regret’ over the incident to Civil Aviation Minister A. Gajapathi Raju, AI revoked the flying ban on Saturday, closely followed by Federation of Indian Airlines and other private airlines.
The government’s moves came following threats that the Shiv Sena, a member of the ruling NDA, would boycott the critical meet to discuss the nominee for next President.