AI Pilot Goes AWOL over Destination Change, Suspended

In June last year, a pilot was suspended by the management after one of his educational degrees was found to be fake.

Published: 01st April 2016 04:24 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st April 2016 04:24 AM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI: An Air India commander, who resorted to a vanishing act on learning that he had to fly to Mumbai from Bhopal and not to Delhi, as he had wanted, has been placed under suspension for gross “indiscipline”.

The incident took place on Sunday when he was supposed to fly a new flight on the Bhopal-Mumbai route as part of Air India’s decision to increase frequency and introduce services to new routes.

“The commander was caught unawares. He wanted to go to Delhi. But when he came to know that the flight was not heading to Delhi but Mumbai he went missing, leaving the flyers in a lurch,” an Air India spokesperson said.

Since it was a new flight, Air India went scurrying for another commander to avoid embarrassment and managed to get a commander for the Airbus A320 plane and operate the flight.

Air India’s management was quick to strike the commander off duty and place him under suspension in keeping with the direction of CMD Ashwini Lohani of observing zero tolerance on such issues. “The organisation will always maintain zero intolerance to indiscipline,” Lohani had said in a letter to his over 22,000-strong workforce after he took over the helm of the Government-run airline.

Earlier, in 2014, Air India had placed a pilot and about 10 cabin crew on suspension over charges of delaying some flights, including an international one, and not reporting to duty on time. In June last year, a pilot was suspended by the management after one of his educational degrees was found to be fake.

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