Airline apologizes after crew is filmed beating passenger on a tarmac

A man who was beaten and dragged on a tarmac in Delhi, India, three weeks ago has received an apology from IndiGo Airways.

The passenger in question, Rajiv Katiyal, was seen in a viral video taken on October 15 being manhandled, beaten, and dragged along the tarmac at Indira Gandhi International Airport by ground staff.

According to India's Conde Nast Traveller, which obtained a copy of a letter from November 8 that details the altercation, Katiyal got into an argument with the staff after being told to stay clear of a truck next to the aircraft. Due to the noise on the tarmac, it seems Katiyal misunderstood the staff, thought they were being rude, and used some expletives in response.

When ground staff refused to let Katiyal board the shuttle bus to the terminal, a physical fight broke out.

The altercation was recorded by cargo staff employee Montu Kalra, according to Traveller. Contrary to some reports that Kalra was a “whistleblower,” IndiGo Airways told the magazine that Kalra was an instigator of the fight, telling his junior staff to prevent Katiyal from boarding the bus.

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“Montu Kalra was a cargo employee. He had no reason to approach the passenger area. He had no reason to prevent the customer from boarding the bus. He had no reason to instruct the other colleagues,” said Aditya Ghosh, President & Wholetime Director of IndiGo.

Ghosh apologized in a statement, as reported by The Times of India: “I acknowledge the unpleasant experience our passenger went through, while engaging with our staff at Delhi airport. My personal apologies as this does not reflect our culture. I had personally spoken to the passenger and asked for an apology. At IndiGo, dignity of our passengers and staff is of utmost importance. Any act that compromises the dignity of either is of a serious concern to us. Under the code of conduct violation, this incident was investigated and stern action was taken against the staff. Once again my personal and sincere apologies to the affected passenger.”