Cracking the whip on the on misuse of free travel facility by the pilots, the Civil Aviation Minister, Ajit Singh on Tuesday directed Air India to immediately withdraw the facility available to pilots to travel as an additional crew member during time off/ leave.

Henceforth no such free travel facility to pilots to travel as an additional crew member in Air India would be extended during time off/leave.

Taking cognizance of a complaint received by him about Captain S.P.S. Suri, who was given authorisation by Air India to fly on Delhi-Dubai Sector as additional crew member of the Air India flight AI 995/AI996 earlier this month, despite having been grounded, Mr. Singh issued directions to put an end to misuse of this facility once for all.

Captain Suri had been grounded last month pending investigation into the incident of turbulence faced by Air India A330 aircraft operating from Delhi to Shanghai on July 5 in which nearly 18 people injured. The aircraft was under the command of Captain Suri. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has also been asked to inquire into this matter and submit a report to the Civil Aviation Minister.

It was also pointed out to the Minister that the facility available to pilots to travel as additional crew member was being misused by the pilots to travel free of cost during time off/ leave. A large number of such travels have been authorised in the past by the General Managers. As additional crew member, a pilot despite being on time off/ leave enjoyed all facilities of a pilot on duty as regards to check-in and other things. With the new directive in place, all such things will come to an end.

More In: Companies | Business