Tirupati, Nov 27: Air India, the government-owned airline, might have witnessed several incidents where officials were forced to delay flights for VVIPs. But now, the airline officials have taken a bold decision.
Times of India quoted a source as saying that Ashwani Lohani, Chairman of Air India, has specifically directed that no flight should be delayed for any non-technical reason like accommodating VVIPs.
The bold decision, however, became costly for one senior official who works with Air India. The Air India station manager at Tirupati airport experienced VVIP tantrums as he was slapped in public for refusing to allow one MP to board a flight to Delhi. The incident took place on Thursday, Nov 26.
The YSR Congress MP from Andhra Pradesh, whose name has not been revealed yet, reportedly reached the airport about 20 to 25 minutes before flight departure time.
When the MP along with some of his relatives reached the airport, they were not allowed to board the flight. Boarding counters were closed as according to rules, boarding counters for domestic flights close at least 45 minutes before departure time.
Media report the source as saying, "Since the boarding counter had closed for the 2:30 pm flight when the MP and his entourage reached the airport, the VVIP asked the station manager to accommodate him and his relatives on board. Expressing his inability to do so as boarding had closed, the employee apologised to the MP. The politician flew into a rage and slapped the station manager."
Though other airline officials asked the victim to file complaint against the MP, he refused to do so.