Pilot forces flight delay by insisting for 'particular woman co-pilot'; Air India orders inquiry

The incident happened on board Air India's flight to Male from Chennai via Thirunanthapuram, sources said.

Pilot forces flight delay by insisting for 'particular woman co-pilot'; Air India orders inquiry

New Delhi: National flag carrier Air India on Thursday ordered an inquiry into reports that one of its pilot forced a two-and-a-half-hour delay in a flight's departure by insisting for a "particular woman" co-pilot.

CNN-IBN reported that Air India CMD has ordered the inquiry while stating that such acts of indiscipline will not be tolerated.

As many as 110 passengers on board the Air India flight AI 263/264 were forced to sit in the plane for two and half hours on Wednesday after its commander insisted for a "particular woman" co-pilot to operate the flight.

The incident happened on board Air India's flight to Male from Chennai via Thirunanthapuram, sources said.

 

In between, the commander also complained of high blood pressure and was treated for the same, they said. Interestingly, the commander had quit Air India last week and is serving a six-month notice period, sources said.

According to the sources, the commander insisted roster section on Tuesday to schedule the woman flight officer along with him on flight AI 263/264 for Wednesday.

"Roster section, however, informed him that his demand can't be met as she was already scheduled for a Delhi flight," a source said.

Later, the commander called up roster section and threatened to report sick, if the particular woman pilot was not assigned the duty with him.

"When the roster section did not oblige, he reported sick yesterday. But this morning when he turned up to operate the flight he again insisted for the same co-pilot, forcing the airline to arrange his favourite co-pilot," one of the sources alleged.

But in the process, the flight was delayed as it departed at 9.13 am against its schedule time of 7 am, sources said.

(With PTI inputs)

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