The two pilots were initially “de-rostered” by the airline Monday after officials were informed of the scuffle upon landing.
According to reports, the flight had only about two and a half hours left in its journey when the slapping incident broke out in the plane’s cockpit. Triggered by an argument the two officials were having, the altercation soon ended after the female co-pilot exited the cabin crying.
However, the ordeal was not over.
One unidentified source told the Times of India that while the flight crew attempted to comfort the distressed co-pilot, “the [male pilot] kept buzzing the crew, asking them to send the second pilot back.”
Though the co-pilot was later persuaded by the cabin crew to return to her post, she reportedly came back out of the cockpit a second time. The crew, concerned about the safety of the 324 passengers onboard, once more tried to convince the pilot to return.
When their second attempt proved more difficult, the male pilot then exited the cockpit — leaving it completely unattended — to persuade the distraught pilot to return. Both pilots later made their way back to the cockpit.
In response to the series of events, the DGCA grounded both pilots and ordered an investigation after officials from Jet Airways reached out to the Indian regulatory body, the Times reported.
A spokesperson from the airline later confirmed the fight, which was labelled a “misunderstanding.”
“A misunderstanding occurred between the cockpit crew of Jet Airways flight 9W 119, London — Mumbai of January 1, 2018,” the statement said. “However, the same was quickly resolved amicably and the flight with 324 guests including 2 infants and 14 crew continued its journey to Mumbai, landing safely.”
“At Jet Airways, safety of guests, crew and assets is of paramount importance and the airline has zero tolerance for any action of its employees that compromises safety,” it added.
The two pilots have reportedly flown together for several years and have had a history of arguing, the Hindustan Times reported.
It is unclear if the female pilot will be reinstated by the DGCA.
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