Mid-air brawl: Jet Airways male pilot ‘slaps’ female co-pilot, both grounded

MUMBAI: Jet Airways has grounded two of its senior pilots following a mid-air brawl on a London-Mumbai flight on January 1, in which the male commander allegedly slapped his female counterpart.

The incident took place this Monday, when the aircraft was in over the Iran-Pakistan airspace, and was 2.45 hours away from its destination, an airline source told PTI.

The pilot and co-pilot of Jet Airways flight violently clashed inside the cockpit when the flight from London to Mumbai was scheduled to take off.

When contacted, a Jet Airways spokesperson said there was a “misunderstanding” between the cockpit crew and the same was “resolved amicably” and “quickly”.

“Misunderstanding occurred between cockpit crew of Jet Airways flight, London–Mumbai on 1 Jan. It was resolved amicably & flight continued journey to Mumbai. Incident reported to DGCA & concerned crew derostered pending an internal investigation, that has been initiated,” Jet Airways said in a statement.

The incident happened on 9W 119 flight soon after it took off for Mumbai with 324 passengers and 14 crew members on board on New Year Day.

However, the source alleged that the male pilot who has been working with the airline for over a decade had some “argument” with the female commander over some issues.

The source said these two senior pilots have been flying together for many years and have had arguments in the past as well. But that on the Monday flight, arguments turned violent and he slapped her, after which she came out of the cabin crying, the source alleged.

“The cabin crew persuaded her to go back to the cockpit but she refused. Following this, the male pilot came out of the cockpit, leaving the operations to the care of a cabin crew (which is a violation of flight safety norms) and persuaded her to return to the cockpit,” the source said.

The airline has reported the matter to the DGCA and the pilots involved in the incident have been taken off duties pending investigation that is underway, the airline spokesperson said.

Aviation regulator DGCA suspended the flying licence of a senior Jet Airways pilot who allegedly slapped a female commander of the airline’s London- Mumbai flight on January 1.

The pilot’s flying licence has been suspended pending investigation, a senior official of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) told PTI.