In an unprecedented move, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued a show-cause notice to SpiceJet, asking as to why the airline’s permit should not be suspended after safety violations on board its flights on Holi came to the regulator’s notice.
Eight flights operated by the airline on March 17 had cabin crew performing a dance sequence mid-air to celebrate Holi. In one of the videos, posted on YouTube, a pilot can be seen coming out of the cockpit and taking photos of the celebrations.
“In one flight (SG 876) the commander can also been seen dancing. The passengers and crew can also been seen dancing and mobile phones are being used. These are all violations of safety rules,” said Prabhat Kumar, DGCA chief.
“Passengers dancing in the aisle creates an unruly environment,” said a DGCA official.
The regulator has already suspended two pilots of the airline.
DGCA had summoned senior executives of the airline on Tuesday. When confronted by the regulator, the airline confirmed that the video was of their flight
“While dancing in the flight was not a violation, the pilot coming out of the cockpit certainly was as in case of an emergency his presence would have been required inside. Many airlines have such performances,” said an aviation safety expert.
“The dance was professionally choreographed and was a Holi delight for passengers. The entire dance sequence lasted just 2.5 minutes,” a SpiceJet spokesperson said. “We are looking into the report in cooperation with DGCA,” she added.