At a time when the government is urging people to cancel their planned wedding or opt for a simple marriage function owing to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, a mid-air marriage aboard a chartered flight has infuriated the country’s aviation regulator—the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
In fact, the aviation watchdog on Monday suspended the crew of the chartered flight operated by SpiceJet.
It has also begun a probe into the incident and has sought a report from the airline as well as the airport authority. The airline has been instructed to file a complaint against those who did not follow COVID-appropriate behaviour as instructed by the government.
Pictures of the mid-air marriage went viral
The development comes after the pictures of the mid-air marriage went viral on social media. The couple had tied the knot on-board the chartered flight exactly when the plane was above the Meenakshi Amman Temple in Tamil Nadu’s Madurai.
In the pictures now doing rounds on social media, the couple and their relatives & guests are seen flocking in the flight violating COVID norms. While the state government’s rules limit such gatherings to a maximum of 50 people, the mid-air marriage was attended by over 160 people.
What SpiceJet said
According to media reports, a spokesperson for the airline said, “A SpiceJet Boeing 737 was chartered by a travel agent in Madurai on May 23, 2021, for a group of passengers for a joy ride post their wedding. 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.”
He 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 according to the COVID guidelines both at the airport and aboard the aircraft throughout the journey.
The spokesperson added, “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 the DGCA, including restrictions on photography and videography. Despite repeated requests and reminders, the passengers did not follow the guidelines and the airline is taking appropriate action as per rules.”
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