Day after bomb scare, crew of IndiGo flight de-rostered | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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Day after bomb scare, crew of IndiGo flight de-rostered

By, New Delhi
May 30, 2024 04:39 AM IST

DGCA said it took action against the airline crew for violating rules during the evacuation when they left the jet using the emergency slides with their bags

Civil aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has suspended all four cabin crew on a Delhi-Varanasi IndiGo flight that was evacuated on May 28 minutes before take-off following a bomb hoax, officials said on Wednesday.

A crew member helps an elderly passenger evacuate the aircraft through the emergency door on Tuesday. (ANI)
A crew member helps an elderly passenger evacuate the aircraft through the emergency door on Tuesday. (ANI)

DGCA said it took action against the airline crew for violating rules during the evacuation when they left the jet using the emergency slides with their bags.

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“Passengers and crew were evacuated safely. However, due to deficiency observed regarding bags in hands during the evacuation process, the DGCA has taken the cabin crew off the roster, pending investigation,” a civil aviation ministry spokesperson told HT.

Each airline has its a specific list of evacuation SOPs that are instructed by them to all their crew.

Around six people have been put off the roster following the incident.

The incident took place at 5.10am, when the IndiGo flight 6E 2211 from Delhi to Varanasi was taxiing for take-off and the pilot announced that the aircraft was returning to the bay due to security reasons.

Read Here: IndiGo allows female flyers to choose seats next to other women for safety

A tissue with “bomb at 5.30” written on it was found in one of the lavatories of the aircraft.

The spokesperson cited above said that the cockpit crew was being taken off the roster in coordination with the wet-lease company as the operations control is with a foreign agency. The A320 aircraft registered as 9H-SLH is wet-leased from an airline based in Malta.

In the case of wet-leased aircraft, the aircraft, its cockpit crew and engineering support is provided by the company from which the jet is leased. The safety oversight in these cases lies with the state registry of the operator, which in this case is Malta.

According to a passenger on board at the time of evacuation, the pilot had not mentioned that the crew found a bomb threat in one of the lavatories. After being taken to isolation bay 803, the passengers were asked to disembark using the slides.

“The crew announced that the passengers were to deboard the aircraft using the slides along with our cabin baggage. They also told the passengers with pointed heels to take off their footwear,” the passenger added, asking not to be named.

Read Here: Bengaluru's Kempegowda International Airport receives fresh hoax bomb threat, triggers panic

“It took around 10 minutes for all of us including the crew to deboard and leave the bay,” said another passenger, who also did not wish to be named.

A former airline official said the evacuation was “successful”. “But there were flaws in the evacuation SOPs (standard operating procedures) which I am sure the DGCA and the airline will look at,” the official said.

Commenting on the matter, an IndiGo spokesperson said: “Safety is our prime concern and our crew acted accordingly. In the best interest of our customers’ safety. As with all safety and security events, our flight safety team will be reviewing this as well.”

“Both crew members and passengers descended the emergency slide with their luggage which is a clear violation of safety protocol. Moreover, they were seen sliding wearing heeled footwear which is a major violation as these can cause injuries,” added this person.

“Maybe there was insufficient time for the crew to brief the passengers well, but at least the crew themselves should have known and removed their shoes/heels,” a second airline official said, asking not to be named.

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