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Pilot who flew Kamra, Arnab says IndiGo should have consulted him before banning the comedian

 Kunal Kamra (File photo: HT)Premium
Kunal Kamra (File photo: HT)

  • 'Disheartened to learn that my airline took decision solely on basis of social media posts,' said the captain
  • The stand-up comedian was banned by Indigo, Air India and Spice Jet after he allegedly heckled journalist Arnab Goswami in a flight from Mumbai to Lucknow on Tuesday

The captain who flew Kunal Kamra and Arnab Goswami writes to IndiGo management asking why the airline didn't consult him before banning the stand-up comedian.

"Disheartened to learn that my airline took decision solely on basis of social media posts," said the captain.

"As captain of 6E5317 Mumbai-Lucknow flight on January 28, I do not find...events reportable in any way. Mr. Kamra's behaviour, while unsavoury, was not qualifying of a level 1 unruly passenger. Indeed, we pilots can all attest to incidents similar and/or worse in nature that were not deemed unruly," the captain said in his email to the airline's management which has been accessed by PTI.

When asked about the pilot-in-command's email, IndiGo said, "We have received the relevant statements and the internal committee has initiated the investigation regarding this incident."

Kamra was banned by Indigo, Air India and Spice Jet after he allegedly heckled journalist Arnab Goswami in a flight from Mumbai to Lucknow on Tuesday.

The comedian had shared a video on Twitter where he could be heard asking his co-passenger Arnab Goswami: "Viewers today want to know if Arnab is a coward or a nationalist. Arnab, this is for national interest. I am part of the tukde-tukde narrative. You should deflate me. You should take the enemy of the states down.

However, Arnab Goswami chose to remain quiet and did not answer back.

"I did not observe any physical contact between the two gentlemen at any point. I made a Passenger Address to the cabin asking the gentleman standing in the passenger aisle near Row 1 to return to his seat," he said.

"I then asked the LCA to speak with Mr. Goswami and inform him that the Flight Deck send their regards, and that if he wished to lodge a complaint, we would be happy to assist him after landing in Lucknow. He was also offered extra Food and Beverages. He thanked the LCA and acknowledged the offer," the pilot stated.

The pilot said that Kamra apologised him personally.

"I asked him if his issue was political in nature, which he confirmed. I advised him that while we are all entitled to our opinions, there was a time and place to voice them, and that mid-flight was no place for it. He agreed, thanked us and left the aircraft," the pilot wrote in his letter.

The pilot also said that Kamra's behaviour was unacceptable and verbally abusive but he complied with crew instructions.


Kamra on Thursday took to Twitter, where he shared a photograph of himself holding a placard which read: "Arnab I just want to say I am not sorry."

He captioned the image: "Sorry for not being sorry."


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