According to the police, the IndiGo passenger who was caught on camera slapping a pilot during a 13-hour flight delay lost his temper while traveling to Goa for his honeymoon.
After being detained last evening, 28-year-old Sahil Kataria was soon freed on bond.
The video was shot on Sunday on the IndiGo flight (6E-2175) from Delhi to Goa. Sahil Kataria was seen lunging towards Anup Kumar, the co-captain of the flight, and striking him. The pilot was informing the pilot of delays caused by thick fog. According to reports, the passengers had spent ten hours inside the aircraft.
“Chalana hai chala, nahi chalana mat chala, khol gate (fly if you want to, otherwise open the door),” Kataria shouted at the pilot as he was dragged away by another passenger. He was later handed over to the security personnel. As the video went viral, many called for his arrest for lashing out at the pilot, “who was only doing his duty”.
Kataria, who reportedly runs a toyshop in Delhi, claimed he was incensed because he had been inordinately delayed on his way to Goa for his honeymoon. On Sunday, the flight took off at 6.30 pm instead of the scheduled 7.40 am departure time.
But the police denied the allegation, stating that he had been married for five months.
IndiGo said in a statement that the traveller had been deemed “unruly” and that the airline was thinking about adding him to the no-fly list. An unruly passenger may face a 30-day ban from the airline.
“The incident is being referred to the independent internal committee for appropriate action and inclusion of the passenger on the ‘no-fly list’ as laid down in regulatory guidelines. The safety and security of our passengers and crew are of paramount importance, and we maintain a zero-tolerance policy towards any such unacceptable behaviour,” IndiGo said.
Fog in northern India has disrupted hundreds of flights in the last few days. The aviation ministry has asked airlines to cancel flights that are more than three hours delayed in order to address the chaos at airports.