New Delhi, Apr 10: Minister of Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu has ordered a probe into the incident where a passenger accused IndiGo staff on manhandling him after he complained of mosquitoes on board the flight at Lucknow Airport. “I have ordered an enquiry into the incident of off-loading passenger Dr Saurabh Rai by Indigo at Lucknow Airport,” Suresh Prabhu tweeted on Tuesday. This came after Dr Saurabh Rai, a passenger scheduled to fly on IndiGo Lucknow-Bengaluru flight on Monday was offloaded after he complained of mosquitoes on board.
The passenger alleged that he was manhandled by the IndiGo staff and that his luggage was also thrown out of the aircraft. He added that the IndiGo staff called him a terrorist and also asked him to leave India if he had a problem with mosquitoes. “The Indigo flight from Lucknow to Bengaluru was full of mosquitoes, when I raised objection, I was manhandled by the crew and offloaded from the aircraft, I was even threatened,” Dr Rai said. “They held me by the collar and dragged me through the aisle, I heard crew saying if you have a problem with mosquitoes then why don’t you leave India,” he added.
However, the airline in its statement said that it was the passenger who misbehaved and got aggressive. “A passenger, Saurabh Rai, scheduled to fly this morning from Lucknow to Bengaluru, was offloaded on grounds of unruly behaviour. He expressed concerns over mosquitos on board. Before cabin crew could address his concerns he became aggressive & used threatening language,” IndiGo said in its statement.
“As matter escalated after closure of the aircraft doors, he attempted to instigate other passengers on board to damage the aircraft & used words such as ‘hijack’. Hence, keeping in mind applicable safety protocols crew apprised pilot-in-command, who decided to offload him,” the airline added.
Minutes after the IndiGo incident was reported, a video emerged of passengers swatting mosquitoes on board a Jet Airways flight. The video shot by a passenger at Lucknow airport on a Jet Airways flight shows passengers swatting mosquitoes. The video was shot on April 8. “We have taken this up with our cabin appearance team for review. We sincerely regret the inconvenience,” said Jet Airways in a statement.