The IndiGo passenger Shail Kataria, who was seen punching an Indigo Airlines pilot in a viral video over a 13-hour flight delay, claimed to the police that he lost his cool as he was on his way to Goa for his honeymoon.
Kataria, 28, was arrested soon after the incident and was released on bail shortly afterwards.
In the video filmed on the IndiGo flight (6E-2175) from Delhi to Goa on Sunday, Sahil was seen charging at Anup Kumar, the flight’s co-captain, and hitting him. The pilot was making an announcement about delays because of dense fog. The passengers had reportedly been in the aircraft for 10 hours.
“Chalana hai chala, nahi chalana mat chala, khol gate (fly if you want to, otherwise open the door),” Kataria shouted at the pilot as he was dragged away by another passenger. He was later handed over to the security personnel. As the video went viral, many called for his arrest for lashing out at the pilot, “who was only doing his duty”.
Kataria, who reportedly runs a toyshop in Delhi, claimed he was incensed because he had been inordinately delayed on his way to Goa for his honeymoon. The flight was meant to take off at 7.40 am on Sunday but took off at 6.30 pm.
The police, however, refuted the claim saying he had in fact been married for five months.
In a statement, IndiGo said the passenger had been declared ‘unruly’ and the airline was considering including him in the no-fly list. The airline can ban an unruly flier for up to 30 days.
“The incident is being referred to the independent internal committee for appropriate action and inclusion of the passenger on the ‘no-fly list’ as laid down in regulatory guidelines. The safety and security of our passengers and crew are of paramount importance, and we maintain a zero-tolerance policy towards any such unacceptable behaviour,” IndiGo said.
Hundreds of flights have been disrupted over the past few days because of fog in north India. In new rules to tackle the airport chaos, the aviation ministry has asked airlines to cancel flights delayed beyond three hours.