VIPs delaying flights come under PMO scrutiny
The official spokesman tweeted that PMO has asked “Ministry of Civil Aviation for a report on <g data-gr-id="32">delay</g> in Air India flights on account of VIP travels in the recent past”.
The Civil Aviation Ministry, in turn, has sought a report from Air India on the two incidents. “We are awaiting reports on the (two) incidents from Air India,” Civil Aviation Secretary RN Choubey said, adding it would take a call on the matter after receiving the reports. Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju on Thursday apologised for the flight delay controversy, saying “based on the information in the public domain, these things should never have happened. As India’s Civil Aviation Minister, I apologise to anyone inconvenienced by this incident. A passenger who has paid (<g data-gr-id="34">air fare</g>) has the right to go on time,” he said. <g data-gr-id="36">He however</g> added that the “real version is yet to come. We have to listen to all concerned. We are investigating what happened, working on plans to avoid such incidents in future.”
The development came after reports surfaced about <g data-gr-id="31">inconvenience</g> caused to passengers of two flights of Air India since June 24 because of Rijiju and Fadnavis. A media report surfaced yesterday that on June 24, three members of a family, including a child, were offloaded from Leh-Delhi Air India flight at Leh to accommodate Rijiju along with Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh and an aide. Rijiju denied the allegations, saying he wasn’t aware of any such incident. “I am totally unaware whether anyone was asked to de-board. If it was done, it is completely wrong and unacceptable,” he said.
Another report a few days back said that an Air India flight to Newark from Mumbai was delayed by nearly an hour on June 29 after it was reported that an aide of Fadnavis travelling with him had not carried his passport with valid US visa. Responding to the criticism Fadnavis tweeted, “The allegation that I forced to delay the flight to New York is false & misleading. I totally deny it.”