Jet Airways has grounded two senior pilots following their leaving of the cockpit of the Boeing 777-300ER they were operating, during an argument on 1 January.

In a statement to FlightGlobal, Jet says the aircraft was operating flight 9W-119 from London to Mumbai when the "misunderstanding occurred", and that aircraft landed uneventfully.

Jet adds that the two pilots "were outside the cockpit for less than a minute before returning, but the autopilot mode was on as the aircraft was cruising".

"The airline has reported the matter to India's Director General of Civil Aviation and the concerned crew have been taken off flying duties pending investigation, that has since been initiated."

There were no injuries to the 324 passengers and 14 crew members on board. However, local media reports say that the male commander had allegedly "slapped" his female colleague, "after which she walked out of the cockpit in tears". When she did not return, he reportedly "left the cockpit, leaving it unmanned for some time." Both pilots went back to the controls until the aircraft landed.

"At Jet Airways, safety of guests, crew and assets is of paramount importance and the airline has zero tolerance for any action of its employees that compromises safety," says the carrier.

Source: Cirium Dashboard