x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Air crew in 'brawl' on flight

Air India is investigating allegations of a brawl during a flight from the UAE, in which pilots and cabin crew were reported to have exchanged blows.

Air India said yesterday it was investigating allegations of a brawl during a flight from the UAE, in which pilots and cabin crew were reported to have exchanged blows in front of startled passengers. Crew members threw punches and hurled abuse at each other on the flight from Sharjah to Delhi on Saturday after a female attendant accused the pilots of sexually harassing her, the Times of India reported. The fight spilt out into the galley of the plane as about 100 passengers looked on, the paper said.

The cockpit of the Airbus A-320 was left unmanned at one point, and one of the pilots threatened to divert the plane to Pakistan, it said. A 24-year-old female crew member and a co-pilot both suffered bruises in the incident, and police had registered a case against the pilots for "outraging the modesty of a woman", it added. "There are several eyewitnesses, and we are recording their statements," the police commissioner Satyendra Garg was quoted as saying.

State-run Air India said in a statement that it had ordered an inquiry into what it described as a reported "scuffle", adding that two pilots and two crew members had been suspended. * Agence France-Presse