A couple from Madurai, Tamil Nadu, reportedly chartered an airplane to host a 160-guest wedding, mid-air. This was done in an attempt to flout the restrictions imposed by the government amidst the recent surge in coronavirus cases.
The Indian Aviation Authority has launched an investigation into the matter, and the SpiceJet crew has been taken off-duty, over the violation of Covid-appropriate norms. The Boeing 737 was booked from Madurai to Bangalore by a travel agent for a trip post a wedding. "The approval for this flight was taken as a joy ride for the wedding group," said a SpiceJet spokesperson in a statement.
The source also added that "the client was clearly briefed on Covid-19 guidelines to be followed, and denied permission for any activity to be performed on board. The group was repeatedly informed about the safety norms to be followed by the operating cabin crew—in writing as well as verbally—and advised to follow the protocols laid down by the DGCA including restrictions on photography and videography."
However, the couple and their respective families failed to adhere to the safety protocols despite repeated requests, and may face legal action as well.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has launched an inquiry into the mid-air ceremony, and has ordered to take strict action on the same.
The DGCA has requested for a full report from the airline and airport authority, and claims that the crew has been removed from the roster. SpiceJet has also been asked to file a complaint against those caught violating Covid-appropriate rules and regulations.
In the videos that have been doing rounds on the internet, the South Indian couple can be seen performing traditional wedding rituals, while the cameras attempt to capture the special moment in a full-to-capacity flight. Most of the passengers don't seem to be following Covid-appropriate behaviour including social distancing and wearing of face masks.
Tamil Nadu is under lockdown till 31st May, due to the recent spike in coronavirus cases. Amongst other states, the wedding guest limit for Tamil Nadu has been set at 50 people.
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