Pilots Fired For Leaving Cockpit In Fight
Indian airline Jet Airways announced that it has fired two of its flight crew members after a much-publicized incident that occurred between the two pilots on a flight from London to Mumbai on New Year’s Day. Media reports in both Britain and India report that the crew, a female captain and a male captain acting as first officer, had an “altercation” during the flight which resulted in the female pilot leaving the cockpit in tears and reporting that she had been slapped by the other pilot. At one point, both the pilots reportedly left the flight deck unattended. Universal airline regulations state that one crew member may leave the cockpit under strict specified procedures for “physiological needs,” but at least one qualified crew member must be properly stationed at the controls of the aircraft at all times.
The crew members eventually returned to their stations, and the flight, a Boeing 777 with 324 passengers and 14 cabin crew, landed safely. Jet Airways, launched as a scheduled air carrier in 1995, is a major full-service airline based in Mumbai and is ranked as India’s second largest carrier in terms of passenger market share. The airline terminated its direct flights to the United States in recent years but has code share agreements with U.S. carriers Delta Air Lines and United Airlines. The carrier continues to offer North American service through Toronto.