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  HOME | Business & Economy (Click here for more)

Indian Airline Sacks Two Pilots Who Fought in Cockpit, Left It Unmanned

NEW DELHI – India’s Jet Airways announced on Tuesday that it has sacked the two pilots who were recently involved in a mid-air fight during a flight from London to Mumbai.

The incident took place on Jan. 1 and after the fight, the pilots left the cockpit and put the aircraft on autopilot mode.

“Consequent to the review of the events on board Flight 9W 119 London-Mumbai of 01 January 2018, Jet Airways has terminated services of both the cockpit crew with immediate effect,” a Jet Airways spokesperson told EFE.

Last week, the airline had said that the incident was caused due to a misunderstanding between the pilots, which was quickly and amicably sorted out.

According to local media, the commander supposedly slapped the co-pilot after an argument and she emerged from the cockpit in tears.

The commander then also left the cockpit, leaving the aircraft – with 324 passengers, including two infants – on autopilot mode, and after a second argument, both returned to the cockpit to land the plane safety in Mumbai.

The incident even made it to the Indian parliament on Thursday, where Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapati Raju announced that an investigation into the incident had been ordered.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation suspended the licenses of the pilots last week.

This is not the first time a fight on an Indian plane has culminated in a national scandal.

In March 2017, Ravindra Gaikwad, Member of Parliament from the right-wing Hindu nationalist party Shiv Sena, hit an Air India employee 25 times with a sandal after a heated exchange of words, after he refused to leave the plane for almost an hour after it landed in Delhi.

He was incensed over having been given an economy class seat in a flight that did not have business class, and delayed the next flight by 40 minutes, which spurred Air India and other airlines to blacklist him.

 

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