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Plane wedding: DGCA derosters crew

Screenshot from the wedding video that went viral.  

A wedding in the skies has invited the wrath of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). On Monday, it suspended the crew of a SpiceJet chartered plane after a wedding ceremony aboard the aircraft, over Madurai, in violation of COVID-19 norms. The airline has been ordered to file an FIR against the errant passengers.

Pictures viral on social media show the bride and groom exchanging garlands surrounded by relatives and camerapersons. Many can be seen without masks.

Wedding rituals were performed as the aircraft hovered over Madurai Meenakshi temple in the presence of over 160 relatives in the flight- aviation website flightradar24 shows the plane circling above the temple.

‘Strict action’

“We have derostered the crew and directed the airline to lodge a complaint against those not following COVID-19 appropriate behaviour with relevant authorities. We will take strict action,” a DGCA official said, adding that they were examining if the use of cameras onboard violated safety protocols.

In March, after being pulled up the Delhi High Court, the DGCA ordered airlines to ensure that passengers comply with COVID-19 norms on mask-wearing and social distancing. It said that if passengers did not pay heed, they must be removed from the aircraft and put on a no-fly list.

“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 airline said in response to a query.

SpiceJet statement

In a statement, SpiceJet said a travel agent had asked for a chartered flight for a group of passengers for a joy ride after their wedding. They were informed about COVID-19 guidelines and refused permission for other activities onboard, the airline said.

“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-19 guidelines both at the airport and onboard the aircraft throughout the journey. The group was repeatedly briefed on the safety norms to be followed by the operating cabin crew and 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 airline said.


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Printable version | Jan 24, 2022 10:22:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/dgca-derosters-crew-after-wedding-in-the-sky/article34631787.ece

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