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Air India pilot’s rap rant lands him in hot water

An Indian Airline aircraft sits on the tarmac at Hyderabad airport.

STRINGER/INDIA/REUTERS

An Air India pilot faces the wrath of his bosses after appearing in a YouTube video rapping about bad pay, ageing female flight attendants and cancelled flights at the airline.

Titled "Air India Rap," the homemade track starts with the pilot putting on his uniform before the start of his shift – only to be told that the flight has been cancelled at the last minute.

The lyrics, set to a looping hip-hop soundtrack, are replete with expletives and take potshots at the airline's cabin crew.

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Crew are often criticized by passengers for being rude and the managers are blamed for the airline's dismal reputation.

"How do I fly with women in their sixties. They call them air hostesses, we call them aunties," goes the lines penned by the pilot.

"People work here for a lifetime, they never retire, seeing old faces everyday gets my ass on fire," he sings in the video, which has garnered 44,011 views so far.

State-run Air India is the country's fourth-largest airline by market share.

But it has been hit hard by rising fuel prices and fierce competition that have added to its legacy of labour problems, crushing debts and a costly merger in 2007.

A two-month strike last year by its pilots further dented the image of the so-called "Maharajah" of the skies, which once enjoyed a dominant position.

The rapper pilot signs off with these lines: "I am gonna serve you Air India forever – this ain't a lie – coz I hope to see you get out of this mess before I die."

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The song has left the top airline management hot under the collar.

"He works for us, yes," G.P. Rao, a spokesman for the airline, told AFP. "We are looking into the issue. The management will decide how to go about it."

The Times of India quoted a senior Air India manager as branding the song "an immature act," and adding that the airline would examine the pilot's record "before taking a final view" on whether to discipline him.

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