Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has summoned low-cost private airline, Spicejet for an alleged mid-air New Year celebration. The regulator has rapped the airline for violating safety rules and sought an explanation on the incidence.
A video, which is making rounds on social media, shows passengers dancing onboard while the crew wearing colourful wigs and carrying pompoms.
"We have taken cognizance of a video of an incident inside 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. This is a violation of cabin-safety requirements," Business Standard quoted a senior DGCA official as saying.
The official argued that the frequent movement of passengers onboard may impact the center of gravity of the aircraft which could eventually pose a safety issue.
Moreover, the official also added that "Use of cell phones to take pictures mid-air is also a violation of safety rules." Now, the regulator has ordered a probe to investigate whether the crew members also joined the celebration and if it was an incident in only one aircraft.
DGCA has said that if the airline is found guilty of violating any rules, suitable action will be taken. "We have summoned officials of SpiceJet. If it is found that the cabin crew also participated [in the celebrations], suitable action will be taken against them. The responsibility of the crew is to ensure cabin safety and discipline," the official added.
However, SpiceJet has said that the airline has not violated any protocol and its crew did not participate in dancing. "On one specific flight, during cruise after completion of service and prior to the seatbelt sign coming, on we got some of our cabin crew members to greet passengers while walking down the aisle. The people seen dancing are passengers who got momentarily carried away. Our crew immediately requested the passenger to be seated. The captain also put on the seatbelt sign and appropriate announcements were made. We would like to clarify that the video was shot by a passenger and not by the crew," a SpiceJet spokesperson said.
It is to be noted that the this is not one odd instance of a mid-air bash inside an aircraft. In past also DGCA has raised objections on SpiceJet for holding a 10-minute dance show inside an aircraft in 2014. Similarly, in 2016, the regulator had rapped SpiceJet after Sonu Nigam performed mid-air.