After 15 days, Air India today lifted the ban on Shiv Sena lawmaker Ravindra Gaikwad, one day after he apologized in the Lok Sabha. On Thursday, the 56-year-old lawmaker also sent a letter to the Civil Aviation Minister expressing his regret over the now infamous episode of 23 March.
While Gaikwad apologized to Parliament on Thursday, he has steadfastly refused to apologize to either Air India or its 60-year-old employee whom he assaulted with his slipper over seating allocation on a Pune-New Delhi flight. Gaikwad was upset that he was made to travel economy when he had a ticket for the business class. He refused to deplane.
In the face of national outrage, Gaikwad refused to apologize. A 60-year-old man should also know how to behave.
Speaking in the Lok Sabha on Thursday, he stated, “I apologize to Parliament if I’ve caused any hurt, but not to the Air India official… The AI staff abused me and pulled me by my collar. The AI staff who misbehaved with me is roaming scot-free. But here I am with curbs from all airlines.”
Over the course of the past two weeks, Air India thwarted at least two attempts by Gaikwad to book tickets. He has also been banned by five private airlines. Citing sources, ANI reported today that private airlines are likely to follow Air India’s decision and revoke their ban.
He has written a regret letter to the Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapthi Raju,