Oddly Enough

Air India says mid-air scuffle no threat to safety

Air India aircrafts are on display at the tarmac of Mumbai airport in this July 30, 2007 file photo. REUTERS/Punit Paranjpe

MUMBAI (Reuters) - A mid-air scuffle between pilots and crew of an Air India flight at the weekend did not endanger the 106 passengers on board, said a spokesman for the airline which has ordered an inquiry.

Two pilots and two crew members have been grounded following the incident on a Sharjah-Lucknow-Delhi flight, said Jitender Bhargava, which began as a heated exchange on a charge of sexual harassment against the pilots by a crew member.

Blows were also exchanged in the scuffle that spilled into the cabin late on Saturday night, according to media reports.

“At no stage was safety compromised. It was a clear case of indiscipline,” Bhargava said.

“Our report is still awaited. We will decide on the course of action when it is ready,” he said, adding that Delhi police were also investigating.

The ailing state-run carrier last week canceled dozens of flights when about 250 pilots went on strike to protest against plans to cut pay incentives as part of a broader cost-cutting exercise.

Reporting by Rina Chandran; Editing by Alistair Scrutton