Air India (AI) Thursday cautioned its staff at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) and the Pune airport to remain alert in the wake of the Shiv Sena allegedly threatening to disrupt its services. The Sena has allegedly threatened to not allow the airline fly from Mumbai until the flying ban on its MP Ravindra Gaikwad was lifted.
Sena MPs Thursday heckled Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju over the banon Gaikwad and allegedly threatened to not allow the airline to operate services from Mumbai. Soon after, AI’s management stepped up security at the two airports, considering the MP’s recent efforts in booking flights from these airports.
“We are enhancing security of our staff deployed at Mumbai and Pune airports in the wake of the threat to ground flight operations at these aerodromes. While the increased security may not necessarily mean an increase in the number of staff, but advise them on being more alert and cautious,” an AI official said.
While the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel, assisted by the local police, is in charge of the security at the two airports, airlines also have their own security teams in place at the airports.
On Thursday evening, Gaikwad requested Raju to lift the ban, saying it was preventing him from discharging his responsibilities.
“We want the same law of natural justice to be applicable in this case. Under no condition can he be partially treated only for the post he holds,” the AI official said.
Employee unions of the national carrier too drafted a letter in support of the organisation, claiming they stood by the decision of its Chairman and Managing Director, Ashwani Lohani, and the airline. “Air India has always been in the forefront to support the nation in all its social causes. Our staff has full confidence in our CMD and in the company,” the letter read.