New Delhi [India], Apr. 7 : Asserting that the travel ban against Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad should not be lifted unless he tenders an unconditional apology to Air India employees and undertakes in writing to abide by the Chicago and Tokyo Conventions and Rules of the Air and follow all Cabin safety and public behaviour norms, the carrier in a letter said taking the saffron leader back on board would crush the morale of its workers and other domestic airlines.
Elucidating that blatant criminal actions of Gaikwad have not only been in poor taste, but are criminal acts of violence, All India Cabin Crew Association (AICCA) general secretary Sanjay Lazar in a letter to the Chairman and Managing Director of Air India, Ashwani Lohani said that Gaikwad was and would continue to be a risk to flight safety and flight operations and to cabin crew safety on board, and hence the Government must think long and hard about letting him back on.
"For either the Ministry or the Parliament to allow such a person to get away without even a rap on the knuckles or even forcing an apology to all Air-Indians and indeed all Indians, would be a crying shame and would reflect very sadly on the International Comity of Labour workers, and of civilised humans all over.
It would also crush the morale of all employees and indeed all fair minded Indians and other Domestic Airlines who watched the situation in Air India, to take a cue as to how the Company would deal with this situation.
We do not wish to be flying such a person," the letter said. "We as Cabin Crew, must only point out that Mr. Ravindra 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.
In fact, unless he tenders an unconditional apology to AI employees, and undertakes in writing to abide by the Chicago and Tokyo Conventions and Rules of the Air and follow all Cabin safety and public behaviour norms, we must not let him on board," the letter added.
Post keeping his stand in the Lok Sabha yesterday where he asserted that he would not apologise to the Air India employee, Gaikwad, later on Thursday, in a letter to Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju expressed "regrets" over the incident which courted controversy a month ago and said that he was clearly told this was a pre-requisite for him to fly again.
The letter claims the restriction on flying is preventing the "effective discharge of his duties and responsibilities." Upping the ante against the government, the BJP's alliance partner yesterday also threatened to boycott the meeting convened by the NDA if the ban on Gaikwad was not lifted by April 10.
Gaikwad, who was banned from flying after he assaulted an Air India staff, said that he had been provoked and alleged that the airlines staff misbehaved with him.
Speaking on the issue during Zero Hour, Gaikwad demanded the flying ban on him be lifted. He got support from other opposition parties. The Shiv Sena MP also said that he can apologise to the Parliament but will not apologise to the airline staffer.