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Charter airline Comtel stranded hundreds of its own passengers on the runway in Amritsar, India, asking them for money to help pay for the cost of refueling. Passengers would not be allowed to leave until they gave the airline another $200 or about 10,000 rupees. This was not the first time Comtel extorted its customers for fuel money in the middle of a long flight as the airline also pulled this stunt with travelers in Vienna en route to Birmingham, U.K. Channel 4 in England has footage of the airline taking money from its passengers to pay for everything from refueling costs to paying for the airport and anything ‘we’ need. Bhupinder Kandra, majority shareholder in Comtel, has been nothing but pugnacious since reports of the extortion have surfaced and has repeatedly affirmed his company’s solvency in light of the release of video showing his company extorting its customers. He blamed the lack of funds on the agents at the airport not passing the money on to the flight crew, which may have sounded plausible at some point in time in his private moments but is, on face, a ludicrous statement. Comtel has since canceled its weekend flights.

 

[The Globe and Mail]