Thatethil Nijesh was traveling from Riyadh to Calicut.
By Dileep Thekkethil
BENGALURU: Thatethil Nijesh, a passenger on Air India flight AI 194 from Riyadh to Calicut, gave trouble to fellow passengers and crew after he went high consuming alcohol served in the plane.
The passenger on boarding the flight on Sunday consumed too much liquor and in mid-air started vandalizing cabin seats after he was denied more alcohol by the crew members. The request of Nijesh was repeatedly turned down by the crew members and owing to this, he turned ‘wild’, said reports.
During the course of the incident the plane was mid-way and till the flight landed in Calicut, Nijesh attacked the armrest of his seat, damaging both beyond repair. The warning of the crew members and some of the passengers fell on deaf ears.
Nijesh continued to display anger on the seat and at some point, he even threatened to assault the flight attendants and co-passengers if they failed to heed to his demand. On landing, Nijesh was handed over to the Central Industrial Security Force and was later taken to the local police station.
According to an Air India spokesperson, “A passenger had turned unruly owing to excess consumption of alcohol. After reaching Calicut our crew handed the passenger over to the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) official who took him to the local police station.”
Air India sources added that the damaged armrests need replacements but unfortunately none of them are currently in stock, which means the flight will be grounded for some time. A senior AI official was quoted by The Hindustan Times, saying, “Grounding of the plane coupled with replacement of the broken armrests could draw a fat bill for the airline.”
A union member was quoted by the Times saying, “It became a daunting task for the crew to handle such a violent traveller and perform other service duties.” This is the second such case reported on Indian international flight in less than a weeks’ time.
Earlier, a women passenger had complained about misbehaviour by one of her co-passengers, who was seated behind her.
According to statistics, Kerala is the highest liquor consuming state in India and the state government has recently imposed a ban on bars except 5 stars in an effort to bring down liquor consumption. Here, the act of the AI passenger almost seems like he wanted to make use of alcohol on the flight as getting liquor in Kerala is starting to get difficult.