An Air India's London-bound flight returned to Delhi airport after a mid-air brawl in which a passenger caused "physical harm" to cabin crew members.
An Air India official told ANI, "AI-111 Delhi to London flight with 256 passengers landed safely at Delhi airport after an unruly behaviour of passenger created ruckus on board."
The flight, which took off for Heathrow Airport (London) at around 6:30 am on Monday returned to Delhi airport at around 10 am after the crew reported to pilots about the physical altercation mid-flight.
In a statement, Air India said, "Air India flight AI 111 scheduled to operate Delhi-London Heathrow on April 10, 2023, returned to Delhi shortly after departure due to the serious unruly behaviour of a passenger on board. Not heeding verbal and written warnings, the passenger continued with unruly behaviour including causing physical harm to two of the cabin crew members."
"The pilot in command decided to return to Delhi and the passenger was handed over to the security personnel upon landing. An FIR has also been lodged with the police. Safety, security and dignity of all on board are important to us at Air India. We are providing all possible support to the affected crew members. We regret the inconvenience caused to the passengers and have rescheduled the flight to depart for London this afternoon," Air India said.
After the plane landed at Indira Gandhi International Airport, Air India filed a police complaint about the passenger's "indecent behaviour" at the police station. Legal action is being taken against the said passenger.
The airline said it has also informed the aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) about the incident.
This is not the first time Air India witnessed such a ruckus on a flight. Earlier, in January, a man, identified as Shankar Mishra was arrested of allegedly urinating on a woman on board an AI flight on November 26 last year. The Delhi Police arrested him on January 6 this year. In an inebriated condition, Mishra urinated on a 70-year-old woman on an Air India flight on November 26 last year. Delhi Police had registered an FIR against him on January 4 on a complaint given by the woman to Air India.
The police registered an FIR under sections 354, 509, and 510 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 23 of the Indian Aircraft Act. Both the accused and the victim are from outside Delhi.