An IndiGo captain was on Monday handed a three-month suspension by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation for threatening a woman and her wheelchair-bound elderly mother on a flight on January 13, PTI reported. The airline had removed the pilot from its roster after the incident.
The incident came to light hours after the Chennai-Bengaluru flight landed on January 13. Supriya Unni Nair, an independent journalist, posted a series of tweets around 2 am on January 14, claiming that she had asked the aircraft crew for wheelchair assistance for her 75-year-old mother, but the captain, who she identified as Jayakrishna, “harassed, threatened and prevented [them] from disembarking the flight and threatened to arrest us”.
Nair alleged that the captain yelled at her for calling the crew for assistance and “annoying him and his crew”. Even when the wheelchair staff arrived, the captain allegedly pointed at her mother and said he would not let her leave. He threatened the two women, saying that he would ensure they got detained and spent a night in jail, Nair tweeted.
Nair said: “When I tell him he can’t threaten us like this, he says, ‘Yes I will threaten you. I am a captain. You can’t touch us.’” The captain even said he would not fly the next flight until the two women were put in jail.
Nair said she had asked for wheelchair assistance in advance, and her mother’s ticket said so.
Later on January 14, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said his office had contacted IndiGo about the incident. He said the airline had “off-rostered” the pilot pending full inquiry.