Mid-air wedding party: DGCA grounds SpiceJet chartered flight's crew
New Delhi, May 24, 2021
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation on Monday de-rostered the crew of a SpiceJet chartered flight that was used for a wedding party.
The post-wedding joy ride by a marriage party onboard a SpiceJet aircraft, which took off from the Madurai International Airport on Sunday, has put the private airline in a spot with videos of the celebrations going viral on social media.
According to SpiceJet, a travel agent in Madurai had chartered one of its Boeing 737s on Sunday for a group of passengers for a post-wedding joy ride.
The videos and images that have gone viral on social media clearly show violation of Covid-19 safety norms, with a large number of people standing extremely close to each other.
According to a senior DGCA official, the move has been taken pending investigation into the matter.
"The client was clearly briefed on Covid guidelines to be followed and denied permission for any activity to be performed on board. The approval for this flight was taken as a joy ride for the wedding group.
"The agent and the guest passengers were briefed in detail, both in writing as well as verbally, on social distancing and safety norms to be followed as per Covid guidelines, both at the airport and onboard the aircraft throughout the journey," a SpiceJet spokesperson said.
According to the spokesperson, the group was repeatedly advised to follow the protocols laid down by DGCA, including restrictions on photography and videography.
"Despite repeated requests and reminders, the passengers did not follow Covid guidelines and the airline is taking appropriate action as per rules," the spokesperson said.