Minister for Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia on Thursday ordered an investigation after an old video of a passenger smoking a cigarette inside a SpiceJet aircraft went viral on social media.
The video shows a man lying down on passenger seats and lighting a cigarette and smoking it while posing for the camera. The airline said that the incident was from January this year, when the airline filed an FIR and barred the passenger from flying aboard its aircraft for 15 days under the rules for "unruly passengers". SpiceJet also said that none of its crew was aware of the act.
Mr. Scindia responded to a post on Twitter on the issue and said, "Investigating it. There will be no tolerance towards such hazardous behaviour."
"The video was shot on 20th January 2022 while passengers were boarding flight SG 706 scheduled to operate from Dubai to Delhi. The said passenger and his co-passengers shot the video on the 21st row when the cabin crew was occupied with completing the on-boarding procedure. None of the passengers or crew was aware of the act. The matter came to the airline’s notice on January 24, 2022 through social media posts," said the airline adding that it had probed the matter under the rules for unruly passengers and barred the offender from flying with the airline for a period of 15 days in February.
Aviation experts have pointed out that the action taken by the airline was inadequate and not in conformity with the Aircraft Rules, 1937. According to Section 25 of the rules, no person should smoke in any part of an aircraft or "anywhere in an aircraft during take-off, landing or refuelling or during a period in which a notice is temporarily displayed indicating that smoking is prohibited."