Call it a sense of humour or the gratitude of an employee who hasn't been paid his salary for months.
Bleeding national carrier Air India (AI) recently de-rostered (taken off duty) a senior pilot after he made an in-flight announcement thanking passengers for travelling with the airline as that would help the beleaguered carrier pay salaries to its employees.
The matter would have ended there had it not been for a passenger who called a top AI executive, asking how he could donate money to help the airline pay salaries.
Shocked by the call, the official was told by the passenger about the in-flight announcement after which the captain was identified and de-rostered.
The airline has warned cockpit crew against making announcements that show the company in a poor light.
The cash-strapped carrier surviving on taxpayers' money has been struggling to pay salaries for almost a year now.
AI did not respond to an email sent by Hindustan Times.
A note, signed by Capt RS Dhillon, general manager (operations), says, "Cockpit crew must desist from making any unwanted in-flight announcements that are derogatory and show the company in a poor light."
"In-flight announcements are made to apprise passengers in the event of delays to AI flights, the reason of the delay and the expected time that would be taken for departure," it says.