This is a developing story, so there will be versions updating as things happen, but there is a severe need for correction in the systems and processes of GoAir. On December 15, 2020, GoAir operated a Chennai – Port Blair flight G81305, which turned back halfway and landed back at Chennai Airport.
The return of this flight back to the Chennai Airport predictably caused a social media storm on Twitter.
They board consumer flight and told a&n auth. that it's CARGO FLIGHT.WE ALL STUCK AT CHENNAI AIRPORT
— Viral Patel (@patelv847) December 16, 2020
@goairlinesindia https://t.co/aWwCHBVoAq flight #G8 1305 from Chennai to Port Blair couldn't get permission to land at Port Blair due to any reasons.
Passengers are stuck at Chennai Airport Runway.
Please help.@PMOIndia @AAI_Official@ABPNews @aajtak
— Chirag Tamakuwala. (@ChiragTamakuwa3) December 15, 2020
The social media posts, however, is not the reason to write up this post. There seems to be a big contradiction in what GoAir conveyed to the authorities at Port Blair, and what they did.
Here is the latest schedule for flights into Port Blair Airport updated on December 12, 2020.
The interesting portion for us is in Red. GoAir has clearance to operate a Cargo Only flight on Tuesday and Wednesday between Chennai and Port Blair Airports, which is December 15 and 16, 2020 in this case. On both these dates, the flight was sold as a passenger flight and was turned around midway to return to Chennai.
GoAir is operating these flights as cargo flights due to the limitation placed on the number of passenger flights that can be performed to Port Blair at the moment, and operating passenger flights in the return leg. Between all airlines, only six commercial flights can arrive into Port Blair per day for the moment. The earlier limits were much lower and increased progressively.
Devesh at Bangalore Aviation chimed in about the havoc that such an operation could cause. As per him, if a commercial flight were operated while filing only for a Cargo flight, passenger liability would not be covered under the insurance for the flight.
If a cargo flight is operated with commercial passengers there are insurance implications as passengers liability will not be covered. Covid-19 should not allow complacency. Aviation #safety and #security should always be paramount. And passengers claim they were duped 3/4
— Bangalore Aviation (@BLRAviation) December 16, 2020
There seems to be more to this story than inclement weather, which GoAir told some passengers was why this flight came back to Chennai. GoAir did not take care of the passengers when they got back at Chennai, and just let them be and did not take care of them at all.
@GoAir flight ✈️ Chennai -Port Blair sector return back today due to bad weather, passengers embarked 6.30pm at Chennai airport,be4 dat thy assured to provide food but poor islndrs stranded no food or accomodation has been provided yet by Airlines there are medical patients too pic.twitter.com/HDacA4d7wx
— Razia Begum (@RaziaSoni) December 15, 2020
Unfortunately, if the flight turned back due to the difference between the flight plan filed and actual operations of the flight, then this is gross negligence on the end of GoAir. I hope they come out and clarify what happened in this case. On December 16, 2020, which was Wednesday, another flight was operated which carried passengers. This flight was allowed to land at Port Blair. However, there was no medical team present to inspect the CoVid-19 negative reports and administer tests to those who did not carry a report at the time of boarding.
We will update this story if there is a statement made by GoAir on the incident.
What do you make of this entire GoAir Fiasco?
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