Full-service airline Vistara, which earlier went against the grain by not suspend stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra’s flying rights, on Friday informed him of its decision to put him on no-fly list until April 27. Vistara said its decision was based on the order passed by an internal committee constituted by IndiGo, the airline on whose flight Kamra had heckled news anchor Arnab Goswami.
“Based on the order passed by an internal committee constituted by InterGlobe Aviation Ltd in compliance with the respective CAR and following due process, we have placed the passenger on our no-fly list until April 27, 2020,” a Vistara spokesperson said. The ban is for three months from the date of incident — January 27.
Air vistara has also banned me now till the 27th April, following orders like they show… at a time where no one can fly, all I want to say is, neither am I sorry nor am I surprised, nor am I suffering… pic.twitter.com/LSYHDkNzDD
— Kunal Kamra (@kunalkamra88) March 13, 2020
According to the mail sent by Vistara to Kamra, which was seen by The Indian Express, the company’s own internal committee decided that Kamra’s behaviour amounted to a Level 1 offence.
According to the no-fly list rules instituted by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), a Level 1 offence, the least critical of the three stages, leads to an unruly passenger being banned from flying for a period of three months.
Last month, the panel formed by IndiGo approved the flying ban on Kamra but ruled it to be a Level 1 offence. The low-cost airline had suo motu banned the comedian from flying for six months. In a tweet on Friday, Kamra said: “Air vistara has also banned me now till the 27th April, following orders like they show… at a time where no one can fly, all I want to say is, neither am I sorry nor am I surprised, nor am I suffering…”.
In 2017, the Centre issued rules for preventing disruptive behaviour by air travellers and laid down guidelines for a no-fly list. As per the rules, a complaint of unruly behaviour needs to be filed by the pilot-in-command, and this is to be probed by an internal committee to be set up by the airline. During the period of pendency of the inquiry, the rules empower the concerned airline to impose a ban on the passenger. The committee is to decide the matter within 30 days, and also specify the ban duration.
The rules define three categories of unruly behaviour: Level 1 refers to behaviour that is verbally unruly, and calls for debarment up to three months; Level 2 indicates physical unruliness and can lead to the passenger being debarred from flying for up to six months; Level 3 indicates life-threatening behaviour for which the debarment would be for a minimum of two years. They also stipulate that once an airline has banned a passenger, other airlines have the option to suspend the passenger’s flying rights.
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