Five flight attendants of Indian carrier Jet Airways have been suspended following a Civil Aviation Inquiry for allowing a Bollywood star to sing from the plane’s PA system.
The incident happened on a chartered flight in early January and the Civil Aviation Authority became aware of the fact after Youtube videos surfaced.
Regulations for aviation in India are quite strict. Security wise it’s one of the most intrusive countries I have ever flown from however one must consider the history of various bombings against Indian flights. This has lead to all sorts of safety regulations and violations of these are being followed up on stringently.
The Times of India (access here) published the story about the suspensions this week.
Five airhostesses of Jet Airways have been grounded for allowing playback artiste Sonu Nigam to sing from the plane’s address system. The in-flight concert took place during a chartered flight from Jodhpur to Mumbai on January 4.
According to reports, all passengers on board knew each other and requested Nigam to sing. The singer obliged and sang two songs. Videos of the singer crooning in air were posted on social media by some flyers and went viral.
From the video it appears to be a relatively innocent affair, there was no dancing and other commotion during this performance.
However, the aviation safety regulator — Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) — has taken a serious note of airhostesses allowing a passenger to take over the in-flight announcement system.
The regulator investigated the incident and asked the airline to suspend the airhostesses on board. Jet has also been asked to ensure that such “misuse” of the in-flight announcement system is not allowed in future.
Confirming the action, a statement issued by Jet said: “All cabin crew on the flight have been taken off flight duty for enquiry and corrective training to reinforce strict adherence to operating procedures.”
This is not all though. The DGCA has also launched an inquiry against Jet Airways, requiring the carrier to respond in detail and by brief to the accusations made.
The DGCA had issued a show cause notice to the airline, asking why its licence should not be suspended. “These acts by the cabin crew had drawn the attention of other crew on duty, thus reducing their preparedness/alertness. The frequent movement of the dancing crew may have affected the aircraft’s centre of gravity during flight and created turbulence….”
The airline was charged with permitting use of cellphones in the air to take pictures “against present regulation” as use of personal electronic devices in airplane mode was not allowed at the time. “(The airline) might have instigated passengers to become unruly…. It is established that (the airline) failed to observe various safety regulations,” the notice had said.
One would think that this provides tremendous headache for the airline resulting from this incident that took at best 10 minutes.
Even though this was a chartered flight the airline and the staff obviously has to comply with aviation regulations. It’s not a private aircraft where rules are more relaxed for obvious reasons.
The other thing is that these days people upload every little bit they can capture on video, not thinking about the troubles that can result from it.