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Air India Launches Investigation Into Delay Reportedly Caused by Fish Smuggling Pilot

An Air India captain is accused of delaying a flight from Bangladesh to India to allow contraband cargo to be loaded onto the plane. The pilot was allegedly attempting to smuggle expensive Hilsa fish, which are notoriously difficult to import and export, but the scheme is to have been foiled by an airline security officer.

This month, an Air India flight from Dacca Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (DAC) to Kolkata Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport (CCU) was delayed by nearly two hours; now, reports have emerged that the delay may have been the result of the captain holding the flight in an attempt to smuggle iced containers of a rare delicacy onboard the aircraft. Air India officials say they have initiated a probe to get to the bottom of reports that the already boarded plane remained at the gate while the pilot waited for a 2.5 kilogram shipment of contraband Hilsa fish.

Airline employees told the India Times that an Air India security officer smelled something fishy and poured cold water on the captain’s illegal smuggling plans before the August 8 flight could depart. An argument between the security official and the pilot reportedly took place on the ramp while the aircraft with 54 passengers onboard waited at the gate. According to the newspaper, the pilot was eventually convinced to depart without his unauthorized haul of culinary delights, but by then, the flight was hours behind schedule.

“We are investigating the reason for the delay of the flight from Dhaka to Kolkata that day,” an Air India spokesperson told The Economic Times. “In fact, Air India probes into the cause for delay of any flight which does not depart on time. There can be so many reasons for a delay from engineering to operations to even ATC clearance. It will not be fair to make any unsubstantiated conjuncture on the cause of the delay.”

According to media reports, the aviator has been suspended from duty while the airline investigates the headline-making incident. The pilot has since admitted to requesting that an order of the fish be placed on the plane. Captain Rajesh Kuyeskar said the practice is routine and blamed the airline security officer for holding the flight at the gate.

“This is not the first time a pilot has made such a request,” he told reporters. “In fact, many pilots over the past couple of decades have carried home hilsa from Bangladesh when they operate flights to the country.”

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ioto1902 August 27, 2018

Very inhumane to forbid a pilot to fly with his emoitional support animals.