Chinese Airline Suspends Pilot, Flight Attendant for Mid-Air Fight

China’s civil aviation regulator has suspended Donghai Airlines from applying for new routes, flights and capacity as punishment for an inflight scuffle between a pilot and a crewmember. The country’s civil aviation authority began an investigation into the fight between the two men in front of first-class passengers on a Donghai Airlines service travelling from the eastern city of Nantong to Xian in the centre of the country.

Ironically, there was less than an hour remaining in the flight from Nantong to Xian on February 20, according to Chinese media reports, when the pilot,who has not been identified, exited the cockpit to use the bathroom in first class. A passenger in first class then apparently wished to use the loo, and the pilot asked him to wait in his seat.

The pilot asked the passenger to wait in their seat, but he was ignored. When the pilot noticed the passenger still waiting outside the bathroom when he exited, he chastised the first-class flight attendant for “not doing his job properly” and effecting flight safety.

The two began an argument that quickly spiralled into a physical fight, reportedly started by the pilot. The fight resulted in a broken arm for the flight attendant and a missing tooth for the pilot.

The flight attendant was not allowed to return on the same flight.

Donghai Airlines issued a statement confirming that both the pilot and flight attendant had been suspended from their roles.

“The company attached high importance to the argument among the crew members during flight and conducted a strict internal verification,” the airline said.

“Those staff members involved have been suspended their job to ensure flight safety.”

The Donghai Airlines incident isn’t the first time this year a pilot was involved in a scrap, after a Tarco Aviation flight was forced to make an emergency landing because one of its pilots was attacked by a cat.

Now, it looks like they will struggle to work in the industry again. In a statement, the airline said that three vice presidents had lost their positions, and that pay would be docked by between 10,000 and 20,000 yuan ($1,539 – $3,077).

Donghai Airlines Penalized By CAAC

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has enacted strict punishment on Donghai Airlines after details emerged regarding a fistfight between two members of crew on a domestic service last month. The regulator will not allow the airline to apply for new routes, or to add flights or capacity to its existing routes, for an unspecified period.

Following the emergence of details on social media regarding a fist fight between two members of Donghai Airlines staff, the civil aviation regulator of China has enacted harsh punishment on the airline and the crew members. The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has said it has zero tolerance for potential safety hazards to flights, and therefore the punishment is necessary.

According to Wu Shijie, deputy director of the Office of Aviation Safety at CAAC, the airline has been suspended from launching any new routes. It will also be prevented from adding new flights and capacity to its existing routes. Wu did not specify for how long the restrictions will remain in place.

According to Wu Shijie, the pilot and flight attendant have also had the harshest of punishments enacted. The pilot has had his flying license revoked, and the flight attendant has been barred from flying following the brawl. Other members of the crew are also said to be receiving flying bans due to their involvement in the scuffle.

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