SpiceJet axes pilot for locking himself in with air hostess

NEW DELHI: SpiceJet has sacked one of its commanders for allegedly asking an air host­ess to be with him in the cockpit of a Boeing 737 on both legs of an international flight and mak­ing her sit on his seat. He also sent his co-pilot out of the cock­pit, leaving the two alone in the cockpit for a long time.

This serious safety breach of making an unauthorized person sit in the pilot’s seat and alleged sexual harassment at workplace took place on SpiceJet’s Kolkata- Bangkok flight on February 28. The pilot is alleged to have repeated his ac­tions on the return journey the same night. The case may not have come to light had the pilot not used “inappropriate language” with the chief air hostess of the flight. She complained to the air­line which, apart from conduct­ing its own inquiry, informed the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) of the breach. The decision to sack the pilot was reportedly taken by Spice­Jet chairman Ajay Singh, show­ing how seriously this alleged offence is being viewed.

In fact there may be more trouble in store for the pilot. The DGCA is currently headed by M Sathiyavathy, a “no-nonsense” person, who is personally look­ing into this case. “We have taken some action (in this case),” Sathiyavathy said. She may take further action like suspending the pilot’s licence -which means he may not be able to fly as a pilot again with any other airline too – if the allegations against him are proved beyond doubt.

SpiceJet GM corporate communication Ajay Jasra said: “The inquiry process (in this case) is on and the statement of all the concerned parties has been recorded.


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