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Air India pilot reportedly left attendants to fly plane while he took a nap

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Jan. 30, 2013: An Air India passenger plane takes off from Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad, India. (Reuters)

An Air India pilot has been suspended after reportedly leaving the cockpit during a flight to take a nap in business class, leaving two female cabin attendants to man the controls.

The incident happened 33,000 feet in the sky on a 160-passenger flight from Bangkok to Delhi in April, The Telegraph reports.

A complaint said the plane’s co-pilot asked one of the plane’s attendants to take his seat while he disappeared for a bathroom break. Shortly thereafter, the pilot asked another attendant to do the same so he could catch up on his sleep.

Both pilots returned to the cockpit 40 minutes later after one of the attendants accidentally knocked off the plane’s auto-pilot switch, The Telegraph reports.

Air India investigated the reported incident and suspended the pilot and both attendants, but said Friday that passenger safety was never compromised.

The airline said in a statement that both pilots never left the cockpit. However, it confirmed that the auto-pilot switch was turned off, and said the two cabin attendants spent too much time in the front of the plane.

Click for more from The Telegraph.