A video has emerged of a pilot for Indonesian airline Lion Air apparently getting into a furious row with a hotel worker before slapping and hitting the employee around the head – his grievance, it’s alleged, was that his uniform had not been pressed by the hotel to his exacting standards. Lion Air says the pilot has since been suspended after the April 30 incident and could face being fired.
The leaked footage of video surveillance from a camera positioned behind the hotel reception desk shows the visibly annoyed pilot pointing to his shirt before going behind the desk and confronting the hotel employee. The pilot slaps and hits the worker around the head before eventually being dragged off by another man.
The video has since gone viral and has been viewed over a million times.
“Currently Lion Air is gathering data and other information needed for an investigation,” a spokesperson for the airline said in a statement.
“If the pilot is found guilty after the investigation, Lion Air will apply firm sanctions by dismissing him from the company,” the statement continued.
Lion Air is Indonesia’s largest and fastest growing airline but its patchy safety record and allegations of corruption and even incompetence have long been a cause of concern. In November 2018, Lion Air flight 610 crashed shortly after takeoff from Jakarta killing all 189 passengers and crew onboard.
The cause of the crash has been attributed to a damaged ‘Angle of Attack’ sensor which is part of the ongoing investigation into Boeing Co’s 737 MAX. However, concerns have been raised that the plane was allowed to fly despite experiencing serious flight control issues the day before the accident.
The New York Times claims Lion Air has suffered “at least 15 major safety lapses” and that political connections have allowed the airline to circumvent or avoid safety recommendations.