11 Comtel Air officials booked in Amritsar

Amritsar : Controversial private airline Comtel Air, which recently asked passengers to pay nearly 23,000 pounds mid-air to complete their journey from Amritsar to Birmingham in England, is facing fresh trouble with 11 of its officials and associates being booked by police here for fraud and cheating, an official said here Wednesday.

Punjab police have registered a case against officials of the airline following a complaint by a local hotel owner saying that they had failed to pay pending bills of over Rs.41 lakh, a police official said.

Eleven officials related to Comtel Air and its associates have been booked under sections of fraud and cheating of the Indian Penal Code, the official said.

The complaint was filed by Sanjog hotel owner Vikas Handa.

He alleged that the Comtel officials did not clear his pending bills of nearly Rs.41 lakh which had accumulated for accommodating nearly 370 passengers of the airline who were lodged here following flight cancellations.

The flights were cancelled Nov 12 and 13 and harried passengers had shouted slogans at the Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport here.

Among the Comtel officials booked were Richard Slucks and Thomas Keptzky, chief executive officer (CEO) and director of the airline. Others booked included officials of the Indo-Thai Airport Management Services (ITAMS) and London-based directors of the airline.

The Comtel flight on the Amritsar-Birmingham-Amritsar route via Vienna (Austria) was started by Comtel Air October this year to cater to the rush of passengers on this sector.

Earlier this month, passengers were asked by the airline staff to pay more money mid-flight at Vienna for the onward journey to Birmingham.

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