Air India Withdraws Boarding Passes After Controversy Over Pics Of PM And Guj CM On Them

न्यूज़ वर्ल्ड इंडिया | 0
| March 26 , 2019 , 10:19 IST

Air India on Monday was forced to withdraw its boarding passes carrying an advertisement featuring Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani following criticism on social media.

According to the media reports Air India spokesperson Dhananjay Kumar said: "Air India has decided to roll back the boarding passes of Vibrant Gujarat which had photos of the prime minister and the Gujarat chief minister." 

On earlier Tuesday, Shashi Kant, a former top cop of Punjab Police, had tweeted a photograph of an Air India boarding pass issued at the New Delhi airport. Along with PM Modi, the boarding pass featured Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani.

"At New Delhi airport today March 25th, 2019. My Air India Boarding Pass prominently flashes Narendra Modi, "Vibrant Gujrat" & Vijay Rupani. Picture of the boarding pass is below. Wonder why we are wasting public money on this Election Commission, which doesn't see, hear or speak...," he tweeted.

Following an uproar over the violation of the model code of conduct, the airline said it was “rolling back” the boarding passes. It didn’t divulge the name of the advertiser but said it found the ad was flouting the code. Airlines carry advertisements given by third parties to augment their non-fare revenue.

Whereas Air India spokesperson said: "We are scrutinising if third-party ads fall within the purview of the Model Code of Conduct. If they do, these will be withdrawn. These boarding passes are not just for Gujarat, but are in use across India." 

Last week, the Indian Railways was forced to withdraw tickets with photos of the prime minister after the Trinamool Congress complained to the Election Commission about them. The railways had then also said that it was a third-party ad and leftover from a pack of tickets printed a year earlier.

In February, the Civil Aviation Ministry had "requested" airlines flying on domestic routes to give their passengers a letter listing the "achievements and initiatives" of the Modi government in the aviation sector.

The letter written by Union Minister Suresh Prabhu stated that "massive investment is planned for development of airports in next five years" and "six waterdromes are also going to be connected under UDAN-3."