Telugu Desam Party legislator JC Diwakar Reddy was banned by all domestic airlines on Friday, after he threw a tantrum because he was not allowed to board a flight because he showed up too late, PTI reported. Air India, SpiceJet and Jet Airways had imposed a ban on him on Thursday. Vistara, GoAir and AirAsia India shortly followed suit.
“After careful consideration of the various issues and ramifications of the actions of Reddy, GoAir has also taken a decision of not accepting any further bookings for the said passenger,” the airline said in a statement.
“In support of the fellow carriers, Vistara has also taken a decision to impose flying ban on J.C. Diwakar Reddy,” a Vistara spokesperson said.
AirAsia, too, issued a statement saying the airline would deny Reddy the use of its services. “We will support the decision taken by the industry with regard to the recent incident involving an Indigo staff.” The Air Asia statement added that, “AirAsia India does not tolerate abusive or unruly behaviour by passengers that puts the safety of other guests and crew members on board at risk.”
Meanwhile, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju on Friday said he would set up an inquiry to look into the incident.
“I will get the entire incident at Vizag Airport enquired into to find out the exact details and ensure that lawful outcomes follow,” he said in a tweet. He also denied a report published in The Times of India that he had intervened to ensure that Reddy was allowed to board the IndiGo flight, calling it “false reporting”.
On Thursday, Reddy had reached the airport less than 28 minutes before Indigo flight 6E 608 was to take off. When told that check-in for the flight was closed and that he could not get his boarding pass, he had become abusive. He had entered the ticketing corner of IndiGo inside the airport and allegedly damaged some furniture and a printer.
Gajapathi Raju happened to be in the VVIP lounge of the airport when the incident took place. Reddy marched off to the lounge to seek the minister’s help, but Raju refused to interfere, reports said.
The MP was apparently later allowed to board the same flight he intended to take, which was thus delayed beyond its departure time of 8.10 pm.
This is not the first time Reddy has created trouble at an airport. Last October, Reddy had barged into the Air India office at Gannavaram airport in Vijaywada and damaged furniture after he missed his flight, reported The Times of India.
Earlier this year, Shiv Sena MP from Osmanabad in Maharashtra, Ravindra Gaikwad, was banned from flying by Air India and several private carriers, after he assaulted a 60-year-old Air India staffer for not providing a business class seat on a Pune-Delhi flight. After pressure from the Shiv Sena, the Central government stepped in asking Air India to lift the ban on Gaikwad.