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Air India pilot insists for particular woman co-pilot, delays flight


New Delhi: As many as 110 passengers on board an Air India aircraft were forced to sit in the plane for two and half hours on Wednesday after its commander insisted for a “particular woman” co-pilot to operate the flight.

The incident happened at Air India’s flight to Male from Chennai via Thirunanthapuram, sources said.

In between, the commander also complained of high blood pressure and was treated for the same, they said. Interestingly, the Commander quit Air India last week and is serving a six-month notice period, the sources said.

According to the sources, the commander insisted roster section on Tuesday to schedule the woman flight officer along with him on flight AI 263/264 for today.

“Roster section, however, informed him that his demand can’t be met as she was already scheduled for a Delhi flight,” a source said.

Later the commander called up roster section and threatened to report sick, if the particular woman pilot was not assigned the duty with him.

“When the roster section did not oblige, he reported sick yesterday. But this morning when he turned up to operate the flight he again insisted for the same co-pilot, forcing the airline to arrange his favourite co-pilot,” one of the sources alleged.

But in the process, the flight was delayed as it departed at 9.13 am against its schedule time of 7 am, the sources said. Airline spokesperson was not available for comments.

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