- The couple booked a chartered flight to get married mid-air
- Aviation regulator has launched an inquiry into the mid-air ceremony
- The SpiceJet flight crew has been taken off duty for the inquiry
A wedding on a chartered flight has won full marks for ingenuity but is under investigation over the violation of Covid-safety rules. 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 ANI. The bride, groom and their families may face action as SpiceJet says passengers did not follow rules despite repeated requests.
The young couple from Madurai in Tamil Nadu - the state is under lockdown to check Covid - booked a flight to Bengaluru and their wedding was held mid-air. Their families, relatives and guests were all on the Boeing 737 plane, reveal photos and videos that have gone viral online.
A couple tied the knot on-board a chartered flight from Madurai, Tamil Nadu. Their relatives & guests were on the same flight.— ANI (@ANI) May 24, 2021
"A SpiceJet chartered flight was booked y'day from Madurai. Airport Authority officials unaware of the mid-air marriage ceremony," says Airport Director pic.twitter.com/wzMCyMKt5m
In one video, the groom is seen tying the mangalsutra on the bride as cameras capture the moment with a crowd on the aisle behind them. In one shot, the photographer encourages them to smile for the camera.
The bride is decked with flowers and jewellery and the groom is in traditional south Indian attire.
There are more visuals that 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.
Regulator DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) has launched an inquiry into the mid-air ceremony.
It has asked for a full report from the airline and the Airport Authority and says the crew has been removed from the roster. SpiceJet has been asked to file a complaint against those caught violating Covid-appropriate behavior, the DGCA was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
DGCA has initiated investigations on mid-air marriage. It has sought a full report from the airline & Airport Authority. SpiceJet crew is off rostered. Airline directed to lodge complaint against those not following COVID appropriate behavior with relevant authorities: DGCA pic.twitter.com/aTNyjIKOFO— ANI (@ANI) May 24, 2021
Airport authorities denied knowledge of the plane wedding.
"A SpiceJet chartered flight was booked yesterday from Madurai. Airport Authority officials were unaware of the mid-air marriage ceremony", Madurai Airport Director, S Senthil Valavan, was quoted as telling ANI.
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.
Tamil Nadu is currently under lockdown till May 31 due to prevailing Covid-19 restrictions.