The DGCA suspended AirAsia India pilot Ravi Raj for three months for wrongly sending “hijack code” on the Delhi-Srinagar flight on June 9, sources told news agency PTI. The AirAsia flight en route to Srinagar from Delhi was on June 9 diverted to Chandigarh when the pilot inadvertently sent a hijack instead of a snag alert to the air traffic control.
The flight I5-715 had departed from the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi at 6.30 am. After around 30 minutes, the pilot realised that there was a technical glitch in the engine but pressed the hijack code by mistake; however, security agencies were alerted by then and the standard operating procedure after hijacking had rolled out.
The Airbus A320 aircraft, carrying 175 passengers and six crew members, made an emergency landing in Chandigarh at 7.35 am. Later, the passengers were flown to Srinagar in another plane.
In a statement issued later, AirAsia said the flight had “encountered a technical problem en route. The crew took all necessary actions and the flight had to be diverted to Chandigarh. We are working with regulatory bodies to assist with the investigation of this incident.”
“The flight from Chandigarh to Srinagar departed at 4.40 pm the same day. We reiterate that we place safety and security foremost in all aspects of operations and apologise for the inconvenience caused,” the airline said in a statement.