Before the withdrawal of the ban, Air India had blocked seven attempts by Gaikwad to book tickets by changing the spelling of his surname or by using honorifics such as "professor" and "doctor", sources said. They said they would revoke their bans on the MP over the "next few days".
The Air India Cabin Crew Association wrote to airline chairperson Ashwani Lohani that the ministry decision to lift the ban before Gaikwad had tendered an unconditional apology to the airline employees would demoralise staff. "Mr. Gaikwad booked the ticket from Air India's website at 5 a.m. today. Are you?'" said the Shiv Sena MP, giving his version of the incident.
On the Shiv Sena's alleged threat of stalling Air India's operations from Mumbai and Pune airports, Patel said it was a wish "too tall" as the central and state governments have enough resources to deal with such threats.
News agency ANI today reported that Air India has cancelled the MP's Delhi-Mumbai and Mumbai-Delhi tickets April 17 and 24, respectively.
Ravindra Gaikwad made worldwide headlines last month after footage emerged of the Shiv Sena politician repeatedly striking a steward with his sandal aboard an Air India flight.
Gaikwad has been at the centre of a row over assaulting an Air India employee after he was made to fly in the economy class. The March 23 incident led to boycott of Gaikwad by all the airlines who refused to fly him till he tendered an apology.
"Do you think the way our MP was heckled (by Air India staff) justified?"
Gaikwad also questioned Delhi Police's action of registering an FIR under Section 308 (attempt to murder) against him.
All India Cabin Crew Association on Friday in its written letter to Air India said that Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad is and will continue to be risk to flight safety.
Following a ban by Air India, post the incident, all Indian airlines banned him.
Raigad MP Anant Geete supported the Osmanabad MP, gherao-ing the Civil Aviation Minister A Gajapathi Raju in the Parliament and threatening that no flights will take off from Mumbai.
Gaikwad raised the flying ban issue during Zero Hour in the Lok Sabha and demanded it be lifted. Nut then I gave up the idea when someone mentioned to me that the ground staff at airports is also pretty mad at me. I have a video of the whole incident and I will submit it in Parliament. "I have nothing to add here".
Cancelling his tickets, the national carrier referred to it as a "possible passenger match with Blacklist entry" and it would be treated as "No Valid Ticket".
Earlier in the day, the national passenger carrier had again cancelled flight tickets allegedly booked by Gaikwad.