I don’t understand big weddings during the times of the pandemic where people should stay as far away from each other. North India had some massive weddings in March 2021, which might have been super spreader events for the pandemic. We already know how hotel banquets are being booked, with adjacent banquet rooms being booked in different names of the same family to sidestep the requirements of several people in a wedding. Now, with Tamil Nadu’s lockdown in place, someone found an easy way out to sidestep the no more than 50-people in a wedding rule and hired a plane for two hours to get married.
SpiceJet Charter flies from Madurai to Madurai for the wedding
SpiceJet operated a charter flight from Madurai on May 23, 2021, which took off at 7 AM IST from Madurai Airport with 161 people on board for a wedding in the air. In the two-hour flight, the aircraft hovered over the Meenakshi Amman temple, and that is the moment the couple ‘tied the knot’. The flight can be seen here on tracking site FlightRadar24,
And in typically boisterous fashion, there is a video that shows them in a crowded plane, with masks off, conducting the ceremony.
And then there are the pictures that show blatant disregard for CoVid-19 protocols as well.
As per the Madurai Airport, the airline applying for the flight approval did not inform when filing the charter flight plan about a wedding being held on board.
DGCA orders the crew to be off-rostered
As per The Times of India, the crew on the flight has been off-rostered, and SpiceJet has been ordered to lodge a complaint against those who did not follow the CoVid-19 protocols on flights.
Unfortunately, in this case, the wrong people are being pinned down, as the responsibility of this, in my view, should land at the management of SpiceJet who did sign up for such a flight without ensuring proper norms were followed.
A Boeing 737 was chartered by a travel agent in Madurai on May 23 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.Approval for this flight was taken as a joy ride for the wedding group. agent, pax were briefed in detail, both in writing & verbally, on social distancing & safety norms to be followed as per Covid guidelines both at airport and onboard the aircraft throughout the journey.Group was repeatedly briefed on norms to be followed by crew & advised to follow DGCA protocols including restrictions on photography, videography. Despite repeated requests, reminders pax did not follow Covid guidelines. Airline is taking appropriate action as per rules.
This does not cut ice with me. Per SpiceJet statement, the crew did their best to make sure people followed CoVid guidelines. Then why is the airline not standing up for its crew being off-rostered. Not just that, with so much going on in the air, the captain of the flight would have known about the commotion, and IF this ‘getting married in the air’ business was not a part of the plan, the flight crew should have diverted the plane to the nearest airport immediately rather than continuing to meander through South India before landing two hours later.
More than one rules were broken on this flight, including filming on a plane and crowding on an aircraft, which is not allowed. The rules to put these people on the no-fly list were followed when they crowded out the plane and hassled Kangana Ranaut sitting in 1F on an IndiGo flight long ago.
The same airline was taken to task when they held a dance performance on the occasion of Holi in the plane many years ago, with extra crew on board for the flashmob. However, the regulator has not prescribed any action against the airline just yet.
A couple tied the knot overflying a temple using a charter plane provided by SpiceJet in the midst of the pandemic with 161 people on board. This was deemed to be a clear violation of many health and aviation protocols in India, and now the airline has been advised to take action against the people on board. However, no action has been advised against the airline yet.
What do you think of this charter flight and all things wrong with it?
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