A day after Air India lifted its ban on Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad, four private airlines followed suit on Saturday.
The Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA) announced it was lifting the ban imposed on Gaikwad on March 24, a day after he assaulted an Air India staffer at the Delhi airport.
The members of FIA are SpiceJet, IndiGo, GoAir and Jet Airways.
FIA Associate Director Ujjwal Dey said the decision was taken following Gaikwad’s assurance “that our assets and colleagues shall be accorded the respect that they deserve for the hard work they put in every day”.
Vistara and budget carrier AirAsia India are also expected to lift the ban.
Air India on Friday lifted its ban on flying Gaikwad after he expressed “regrets” in the Lok Sabha over the March 23 incident. The Civil Aviation Ministry then urged Air India to lift the ban.
Air India, however, said it remains committed that its employees were not assaulted and misbehaved with by anyone and would take strong action to preserve the dignity of its employees at all times.
After the March 23 assault, two FIRs were filed for assault and for delaying the aircraft which had landed from Pune.
Since the ban, Gaikwad was compelled to travel by train or road depending on his engagements.
The All India Cabin Crew Association (AICCA) was not happy with the government decision to lift the ban on Gaikwad, who had boasted that he thrashed the Air India staffer repeatedly with slippers.
“We, as cabin crew, must point out that Gaikwad is and will continue to be a risk to flight safety and flight operations and to cabin crew safety on board, and hence government must think long and hard about letting him back on,” the Association said late on Thursday.
In order to deal with unruly passengers, an amendment to the Civil Aviation Requirement is being drafted by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in consultation with the Civil Aviation Ministry to ready a “No Fly List”.