New Delhi, April 17: The state-owned airliner Air India is reportedly considering on imposing a fine of up to Rs 15 lakh on passengers who delay flights. This comes less than a month after Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad assaulted an Air India employee at the Indra Gandhi Airport. The minimum fine expected to be imposed would be Rs 5 lakh if the flight is delayed up to an hour, Rs 10 lakh for one-two hours and Rs 15 lakh for more than two hours, according to news agency PTI.
On March 23, Gaikwad, reportedly irked over being alloted an economy seat, slapped an Air India staff member using his chappals. Air India and six private airlines banned Gaikwad from using their flight services. The Sena MP was forced to travel by train from Delhi to Pune. His repeated attempts to book tickets under different names were also blocked by the airlines. The issue found echo in the Parliament as the Sena MPs raised a furore after Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju refused to lift the flight ban against Gaikwad. They reportedly gheraoed him inside Lok Sabha, forcing Union Minister Rajnath Singh to step in and cool tempers. The Sena MPs were also reportedly heard threatening to derail flight operations at the Mumbai airport. Gaikwad, however, apologised to the House if his actions had caused any hurt but refused to extend the same to the Air India employee. After a meeting with Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Gajapathi Raju wrote to Air India asking them to lift the travel restrictions imposed on him.