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Air India lifts ban on Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad

SNS | New Delhi |

Giving a relief to controversial Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad, Air India on Friday lifted the flying ban on him after the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) wrote to the national carrier asking it to revoke the restriction with immediate effect.

The move comes hours after Air India cancelled yet another ticket Gaikwad had booked with the airline to fly to Delhi from Mumbai.

"In view of the apology tendered by Gaikwad and undertaking of good conduct given by him, AI and other airlines were advised by the MoCA to lift the ban," Air India said in a statement.

"In a letter dated April 6 addressed to Civil Aviation minister, Gaikwad has conveyed his regrets for the unfortunate incident," the statement said.

"Other private airlines are likely to follow Air India's decision and revoke ban on Gaikwad," the statement added.

Earlier in the day, the Air India Cabin Crew Association has said that Gaikwad must not be allowed to fly until he tenders an 'unconditional apology' for beating up a 60-year-old staffer.

In a letter to the AI Chairman and Managing Director Ashwani Lohani, the association has said that a decision by either the Ministry of Civil Aviation or Parliament to lift the ban will affect the morale of the employees.

On April 6, Gaikwad tendered apology in the Parliament, saying, "I apologise to the Parliament if I've caused any hurt, but not to the Air India official."

On Friday, Gaikwad, in a letter to Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapthi Raju, had conveyed his regrets over the unfortunate incident.

The goon MP had on March 23 assaulted an Air India staffer for seat issues. Air India and four other airlines had banned Ravindra Gaikwad from their flights.