A passenger allegedly abused and assaulted a senior Air India official onboard a Sydney-Delhi flight on July 9, adding to the recent spate of unruly behaviour mid-air.
The incident took place when the Air India official, who had to move to the economy from his business class seat due to a malfunction in his seat, requested the accused to speak softly, a source said.
According to the source, the Air India official was allotted seat 30-C in the economy class. Since there were other passengers, he chose sit in row 25, the source said.
“The official requested his co-passenger to speak softly. But he slapped the official, twisted his head and abused him,” the source alleged.
When the five cabin crew failed to contain the rowdy passenger, the official rushed to the rear seats, as per the source.
“This unruly passenger was fiddling with the emergency equipment and walking freely in the aisle,” the source further alleged.
The cabin supervisor was called in and the passenger was “issued a verbal and a written warning”, the source said, adding, despite the physical assault, no restraining devices were used by the crew to contain the unruly passenger.
Reacting to the incident, Air India, in a statement, said, “A passenger on board AI-301 operating Sydney-Delhi on July 9, 2023, behaved in an unacceptable manner during the flight, despite verbal and written warnings, causing distress to other passengers, which included one of our employees.”
“Upon the flight’s safe landing in Delhi, the passenger was handed over to the security agency, and he later apologised in writing,” the airline said.
The country’s aviation regulator, the DGCA, was “duly informed” of the incident, the airline said, adding that it “will take a firm stand against misbehaviour”.
“We will pursue this to the full extent of the law,” the statement said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a press release)