Kunal Kamra’s flying ban halved to 3 months by IndiGo

New Delhi: Comedian Kunal Kamra has been banned from flights for three months starting January 28, as IndiGo’s committee has found him guilty of a level 1 offence. The airline had earlier banned him for six months.

However, this order is not binding on other airlines like Vistara and AirAsia India, which may choose not to ban him from their flights.

“The committee has ordered banning him from flights for a period of 3 months but this is not binding on other airlines. Other airlines can talk a call independent of this committee’s recommendation,” said a source in the know, who did not want to be identified.

IndiGo could not be contacted immediately for the story.

Kamra had heckled journalist Arnab Goswami and even used four letter words on an IndiGo flight during January-end and also tweeted a video of the incident.

Tweeting the video followed action by airlines, which banned him from flights. While IndiGo banned karma for six months then (reduced to three months now), other airlines like Air India, SpiceJet and GoAir banned him till the inquiry is complete after aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri tweeted asking airlines to act against Kamra.

The minister had then told ET that he called for a ban as the video evidence was clear and Kamra’s actions posed a safety threat.

Under the rules, any allegation of midair misbehaviour by passengers has to be investigated by an internal committee set up by the carrier concerned. With the inquiry now complete, Kamra will not be able fly these airlines till March-end.

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Vistara and AirAsia India did, however, not ban Kamra from their flights and will have to now decide on whether to ban Kamra or not.

While rules are explicit on action to be taken on such offences, the rules were overlooked to ban Kamra. The rules call for airline staff to “observe potential signs of unruly behaviour” and act on them in the initial stages rather than waiting for an escalation.

If an airline gets a complaint from the flight commander, it may be referred to an internal committee, which then has to investigate and decide on the matter within 30 days. Pending the report, the person may be banned from flying for up to 30 days. If the committee fails to come up with findings in the stipulated time, the person can fly again.



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