The now defunct MDLR Airlines, owned by former Haryana minister Gopal Goyal Kanda, showed a clear bias when it came hiring, preferring women to men.
Also, it struggled to fill up its three planes the two years it was operational and made a habit of sending passengers to their destinations by road.
These revelations have come out of the investigation into the suicide of airhostess Geetika Sharma, who left a note blaming Kanda for driving her to her death. The 23-year-old was one among 150 female employees of MDLR, which had a total workforce of 250. Of this, more than 60 were airhostesses.
Bureau for Civil Aviation Security sources said 70% of the 150-odd applications for airport entry passes they received before MDLR started operations in March 2007 were from women. “All airlines prefer female employees but the percentage was highest in MDLR.”
The airline never took off. “It flew short-haul routes but got few bookings. Most of the time, the staff sent flyers by road but charged them air fare,” a DGCA officer said.
When MDLR went bust in November 2009, sources said, male employees got the sack while Kanda shifted most of the women to other group companies.