Couple gets married mid-air on a SpiceJet flight from Madurai to Bengaluru; airline crew derostered after pictures goes viral
A couple from Madurai took a SpiceJet chartered flight to Bengaluru, and got married mid-air when they were apparently flying over the historic Meenakshi Amman temple in the Tamil Nadu city.
Their bride and the groom's families, relatives and guests were all on the Boeing 737 plane, reveal photos and videos that have gone viral online. However, the incident is under investigation over the violation of Covid-safety rules. "A SpiceJet chartered flight was booked y'day from Madurai. Airport Authority officials unaware of the mid-air marriage ceremony," says the Airport Director, according to ANI. The aviation regulator has asked for a report and the crew of the SpiceJet flight has been taken off duty for the inquiry, according to the report.
In a video that has gone viral online, the groom is seen tying the sacred thread around the bride's neck as video cameras capture the moment with a crowd on the aisle behind them. Other pictures show people sitting and enjoying the function inside the aircraft. Most of them are without face masks and there is no social distancing in what seems to be a packed flight. The Regulator DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) has launched an inquiry into the mid-air ceremony, and it has asked for a full report from the airline and the Airport Authority. SpiceJet has been asked to file a complaint against those caught violating Covid-inappropriate behavior, the DGCA was quoted according to media reports. The bride, groom and their families may face action as SpiceJet says passengers did not follow rules despite repeated requests.
In a statement, SpiceJet said the flight was chartered by a travel agent on May 23 for what was claimed to be a post-wedding joyride. "The client was clearly briefed on Covid guidelines to be followed and denied permission for any activity to be performed on board. The agent and the guest passengers were briefed in detail, both in writing as well as verbally, on social distancing and safety norms to be followed as per Covid guidelines both at the airport and on board the aircraft throughout the journey," said the private airline.
"Despite repeated requests and reminders the passengers did not follow Covid guidelines and the airline is taking appropriate action as per rules," said a SpiceJet spokesperson.