A couple in India reportedly chartered a passenger jet to host their wedding up in the skies, taking off from the city of Madurai amid a state-wide lockdown.
A crowd of over 160 guests on the SpiceJet flight disregarded Covid-19 protocols as many on board did not wear their masks or practice social distancing despite repeated requests and warnings from the crew, reported Asian News International (ANI).
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
Footage from the May 23 flight showed multiple passengers without masks, who had left their seats and were crowding around the couple.
Rakesh-Dakshina from Madurai, who rented a plane for two hours and got married in the wedding sky. Family members who flew from Madurai to Bangalore after getting married by SpiceJet flight from Bangalore to Madurai. #COVID19India #lockdown @TV9Telugu #weddingrestrictions pic.twitter.com/9nDyn3MM4n— DONTHU RAMESH (@DonthuRamesh) May 23, 2021
Covid-19 protocols for air travel, set out by India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), include the requirement for all passengers to wear a mask at all times.
Airline says passengers ignored "repeated requests and reminders"
According to SpiceJet's official Twitter account, a Boeing 737 plane was chartered by a travel agent in Madurai.
The purported reason the booking was "for a joy ride" for a group of passengers after a wedding, SpiceJet said.
The airline said that prior to take off, their client had been briefed on Covid-19 guidelines to be followed, and told that the airline disallowed any activity to be performed on-board.
"Despite repeated requests and reminders, the passengers did not follow Covid guidelines," SpiceJet said, adding that it would take "appropriate action as per the rules" in response to the incident.
Announcements calling for passengers to remain seated can be heard in a video clip taken on the flight.
#Watch ‘@flyspicejet Marriage flight’ took off from Madurai at 7 am on Sunday. “The flight was air-bound for two hours and the couple tied the knot when the aircraft was hovering over the Meenakshi Amman temple,” flight got approval from the authorities. #avgeeks #MaskUpIndia pic.twitter.com/yEVAB5L49t— Ashoke Raj O+ (@Ashoke_Raj) May 24, 2021
Meanwhile, the airport authorities said that they were unaware of the mid-air ceremony.
“A SpiceJet chartered flight was booked yesterday from Madurai. The Airport Authority officials are unaware of the mid-air marriage ceremony," the Madurai Airport Director told ANI.
ANI also reported that DGCA is investigating the incident.
Top images via @donthuramesh on Twitter.