A mid-air new year celebration party has landed SpiceJet into trouble with Indian aviation regulators Directorate General Of Civil Aviation(DGCA).
On December 31 last year, the private airline decided to celebrate the arrival of 2019 onboard. The crew wore colourful wigs and carried pompoms while greeting passengers in their seats.
What irked the DGCA was a video on social media that showed passengers dancing on board a mid-air flight. The regulator has summoned the airline officials seeking an explanation.
Here are the details of the incident:
- The video was taken inside flight SG 282 flying from Amritsar to Goa.
- In the video, it is seen that while the aircraft was mid-air, many passengers were moving around the aisle dancing, clicking photos, and even posing with the cabin crew.
- According to DGCA this is a violation of cabin-safety requirements. Use of cell phones to take pictures mid-air is also a violation of safety rules.
The regulator is probing whether crew members joined in the celebration and if it was an incident inside only one aircraft. However, SpiceJet said no protocols were violated and the airline crew did not participate in the dancing.
According to SpiceJet, On one specific flight, after completion of service and prior to the seat belt sign coming, they got some of their cabin crew members to greet passengers while walking down the aisle.
“The people seen dancing were passengers who got momentarily carried away. The crew immediately requested the passengers to be seated. The captain also put on the seat belt sign and appropriate announcements were made.”
This is not the first time that the regulator has taken a strict stance against a mid-air bash inside an aircraft.
In 2014, the DGCA had sent a show-cause notice to SpiceJet for holding a 10-minute dance show inside an aircraft. In 2016, the regulator had also grounded the crew of Jet Airways after singer Sonu Nigam was allowed to perform mid-air over the public announcement device inside an aircraft.
Mid-air bashes, however, are common as airlines regularly use them to attract flyers and improve their brand image. Airlines such as Finnair and AirAsia have conducted dance and birthday celebrations onboard their flights.