In a security breach, a passenger travelling to Lucknow from Goa by IndiGo de-boarded at Patna during a 30-minute lay-over after an alleged in-flight spat with his wife on Thursday evening.
The CISF has sought a report from the airline, even as the IndiGo ordered an internal inquiry into the matter.
The passenger, identified as Mudit Sharma, was among six passengers travelling from Goa to Lucknow via Kolkata on the IndiGo flight 6E-633. The incident came to light when Sharma’s spouse made a hue and cry inside the aircraft about her husband missing just before the flight was preparing for take-off.
A massive search followed at the airport, delaying the aircraft by about 30 minutes, but Sharma was untraceable. Sharma did not take calls on his mobile. A passenger short, the aircraft finally left for Lucknow at 9.10pm.
A co-passenger, identifying himself as Gyaneshwar, wrote about the incident on his Facebook, saying Sharma de-boarded the aircraft leaving his wife behind. Airport sources hinted at a fight between the couple.
The rules of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) do not permit any transit de-boarding of passengers from aircraft, except in case of medical emergency. Even in exigencies, the airline has to inform the air traffic control (ATC) and the CISF. Neither the ATC nor the CISF was informed in this case. It is the primary responsibility of the airline to ensure no transit de-boarding of passengers.
Confirming the incident, airport director RS Lahoria told HT: “It is a security lapse and airlines need to be careful to avoid it.”
The airline is supposed to check the boarding pass of every deplaning passenger at the ladder-point of an airport.
Efforts to contact IndiGo station manager Rupesh Singh proved futile. He did not even respond to SMS.