Air Sahara questioned about offloading cerebral palsy patient


New Delhi : India's airlines regulator Tuesday asked leading private carrier Air Sahara to explain the circumstances under which a cerebral palsy patient was offloaded from one of its flights.

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"We have seen media reports about this. Based on these reports we have asked the airline about the circumstances under which the passenger was offloaded and what it proposes to do about this," a spokesperson of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said.

NGO activist Rajiv Ranjan was to fly by an Air Sahara flight from Chennai to Delhi on Monday to attend a meeting here but the airline staff allegedly prevented him from boarding the flight.

The staff contended he was not fit to fly and needed an escort or a certificate stating he was fit to fly.

Ranjan pleaded that he was a frequent flyer but the airline refused to relent, and the flight took off without him.

"They even called the police to send me out of the airport. A couple of policemen recognised me as a frequent flyer and tried to intervene on my behalf, but the airline staff refused to listen," he was quoted as saying.

Rajan was to attend a meeting here of the National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities to discuss a training programme to be launched in the country.

Air Sahara later offered to fly him on another airline but the carrier that was approached refused to do so.

An official at Air Sahara said the airline would react only after it received a report on the incident from its Chennai office. Air Sahara has been taken over by Jet Airways, India's largest domestic airline.