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Turbaned Sikhs barred from flying Emirates aircrafts

New Delhi,Nov 4 (): Sikhs wearing a turban are not allowed to fly aircrafts of Emirates Airlines. A CNN-IBN report says that it has the email exchange between the Sikh pilot and the airlines.

The Sikh pilot has alleged that Emirates Airlines, after shortlisting him for an interview turned him down only because he wears a turban. As a pilot for almost nine years now, and flying more than 5,500 hours in national and international routes,he was shortlisted for an interview with gulf-based Emirates airlines. He was turned down, because he is a turbaned Sikh.

The pilot got to know from friends that there is a company policy against turbaned Sikhs and at first he laughed saying that such a big company would never do that. In the subsequent mails he sent, it was a shocker for him. He was told he need not come as there is a rule being followed and the company is not making any exceptions.

To clear his doubts, he emailed his photograph to the Emirates. With one week before the final round, he was told that wearing the cap is a mandatory part of the uniform, hence he had been disqualified. If they have any policy against turbaned Sikh pilots, they should mention that turbaned Sikhs should not apply, he points out.

He applied, got a call, was about to go and just for his satisfaction wanted to know if there was a bias and to his shock got to know that there was a bias. It is unnecessary and unheard of. If one has the requirements, one should be recruited on merit and not for the religious belief or the way one looks, the pilot said.

Despite repeated attempts by CNN-IBN for an official response, Emirates chose not to respond to this controversial topic. Turbaned Sikh pilots have been flying aircraft across the world. Since the turban is an integral part of the Sikh culture, several airlines have made exception to their uniform rules. The emails, a copy available with CNN-IBN clearly shows how the uniform code of Emirates literally bans Sikhs from working with one of the world’s largest airlines.

Union aviation minister Ajit Singh bent backwards to grant extra seats to Emirates in the Abu Dhabi-India route.

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