Air India pilots demand MP’s apology, threaten strike

April 9th, 2008 - 10:38 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 9 (IANS) Pilots of India’s flagship carrier, Air India, demanded an apology from Kerala parliamentarian P.V. Abdul Wahab, failing which they threatened to go on strike. Abdul Wahab, Muslim League Rajya Sabha member, wanted to move a privilege motion in parliament against the pilot, Captain Rajat Rana, after being forced off a Dubai-bound Indian flight April 7 at the Kozhikode airport in Kerala.

The Indian Commercial Pilots’ Association said the pilots would go on strike if the MP refused to apologize.

Association president Vikram Yadav said the association would fully cooperate with the pilot. “We will take up the issue at an appropriate forum,” he said.

The incident took place at the Kozhikode airport Monday when Wahab with his wife boarded Air India flight to Dubai.

The pilot accused the airport manager for delaying the aircraft and also held the MP responsible for it. This resulted in a verbal altercation between the pilot and the MP.

The pilot refused to fly with the MP on board. The pilot said the flight would not take off if the MP did not leave the plane.

According to reports, the plane’s arrival at Kozhikode was already delayed before it could take off for Dubai.

Elected to the Rajya Sabha on an Indian Union Muslim League ticket in 2004, Wahab is one of the richest and most wellknown NRI entrepreneurs in the Gulf with interests ranging from real estate to shipping to hospitality.

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