Budget airline IndiGo announced its decision to bar TDP MP JC Diwakar Reddy from its flights after the MP created ruckus at the Vishakapatnam airport earlier Thursday. Reddy, who represents Anantapur constituency in the Lok Sabha, was not allowed to board a flight to Hyderabad after he reportedly turned up late at the airport. The MP then went on a rampage pushing an airline staffer and throwing a printer on the floor after he was not allowed to board the aircraft. Air India also announced that it was barring the MP from its flights.
The airline said Reddy arrived 28 minutes prior to the departure of his flight to Hyderabad. As per DGCA norms, airlines close check-in counters for all domestic fights 45 minutes prior to departure.
“The staff politely informed him that boarding for flight 6E-608 is closed and offered to accommodate Mr Reddy in the subsequent flight. Mr Reddy expressed his annoyance and soon raged against the staff using aggressive and abusive behaviour,” IndiGo said in a statement. The MP was later accommodated on the same flight.
However, the airline maintained, “Any untoward conduct which compromises the safety and security of our passengers and staff is a serious concern to us. Safety and security of passengers, crew and the aircraft is the top priority and it cannot be compromised.”
The MP on his part denied assaulting an airline staffer.
Reddy had allegedly vandalised the Air India office at Gannavaram airport in Vijayawada after he missed his flight.
Earlier this year, Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad was temporarily banned by a federation of airlines after he assaulted a contract employee of Air India. The Centre released its draft rules for a national no-fly list for unruly passengers and proposed a ban on flying from three months up to an indefinite period. The government is expected to finalise these rules shortly.
(With inputs from PTI)