Pilot of the IndiGo flight writes to airlines expressing concern over Kunal Kamra’s flying ban

Amid recent controversies over the actions of stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra aboard an IndiGo airlines flight, the pilot who was operating the flight has now pitched in his opinions on the matter. The pilot has penned a letter to the airlines expressing his concerns over the airlines taking action ‘without consulting the Pilot-in-Command’. The airlines has taken cognizance of the letter.

On Tuesday, IndiGo airlines had suspended the comedian from flying with the airlines for six months following his ‘unacceptable behaviour’ onboard the flight. This came after Kamra had posted a video on social media on Tuesday, which shortly went viral. In the video, it could be heard that the comedian was throwing a series of questions at an anchor of a popular broadcast news media network, Arnab Goswami, inside an IndiGo airlines flight. The comedian was also heard making several comments regarding the anchor’s journalistic ethics.

However, in the letter that the pilot of the aircraft has now penned to the airlines, he stated that he did not observe any physical contact between the two individuals involved in the controversy. Moreover, he said that he had noticed Kamra was gesticulating to Goswami, who was unresponsive.

“I did not observe any physical contact between the two gentlemen at any point. I made a Passenger Address to the cabin asking the gentleman standing in the passenger aisle near Row 1 to return to his seat,” the pilot expressed in his letter.

Adding on to his account on how the events unfolded in the aircraft, the pilot further wrote, “I then asked the LCA to speak with Mr Goswami and inform him that the Flight Deck send their regards and that if he wished to lodge a complaint, we would be happy to assist him after landing in Lucknow. He was also offered extra Food and Beverages. He thanked the LCA and acknowledged the offer.”

The pilot added by saying that Kunal Kamra had apologised to Arnab Goswami personally.

“I asked him if his issue was political in nature, which he confirmed. I advised him that while we are all entitled to our opinions, there was a time and place to voice them and that mid-flight was no place for it. He agreed, thanked us and left the aircraft,” the pilot wrote in his letter.

The pilot further penned that even though Kamra’s behaviour was unacceptable and verbally abusive, he had complied with the instructions of the flight crew.

In response to this letter, IndiGo airlines took out a statement on Thursday, stating that it has taken cognizance of the said letter and initiated an investigation regarding the incident.

“We have taken cognizance of the letter of the pilot, who was operating the flight on which Kunal Kamra and Arnab Goswami were travelling. We have received the relevant statements and the internal committee has initiated the investigation regarding this incident,” IndiGo said in a statement.

IndiGo airlines advised its passengers to “refrain from indulging in personal slander whilst onboard, as this can potentially compromise on the safety of fellow passengers.”

Union Minister Hardeep Puri also called Kunal Kamra’s behaviour “offensive” and “designed to provoke and create disturbance inside an aircraft”. It is “unacceptable and endangers the safety of air travellers,” he said. Following the precedent set by Indigo; Air India, SpiceJet, and GoAir airlines, too, had on Wednesday suspended stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra from flying with the airlines until further notice.

Courtesy : DNA

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