Jet Airways is investigating claims that a male pilot slapped his female colleague during an argument while the plane was in the air with 324 passengers on board.
Reports in several Indian newspapers, quoting unnamed sources, said the midair altercation led the female pilot to leave the cockpit in tears and she had to be persuaded to go back in by cabin crew.
At one point, the male pilot also left the cockpit, leaving the controls briefly unattended, the Times of India claimed.
“A misunderstanding occurred between the cockpit crew … However, the same was quickly resolved amicably and the flight … continued its journey to Mumbai, landing safely,” Jet said.
“The airline has reported the incident to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation and the concerned crew have been De-rostered pending an internal investigation that has since been initiated.”
Civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapati Raju told parliament on Thursday the government would investigate the incident. “Action will be taken according to regulations and no one will be spared,” he said.
A ruling party MP, Kirit Somaiya, said hundreds of lives could have been at risk by the altercation and that the airline and pilots should be punished.
The flight departed London at about 10am GMT on Monday and arrived in India’s financial capital on schedule, approximately nine hours later at midnight local time.
“At Jet Airways, safety of guests, crew and assets is of paramount importance and the airline has zero tolerance for any action of its employees that compromises safety,” the airline said.