The civil aviation ministry cracked the whip on IndiGo and the Mumbai Airport in connection with the viral videos of passengers eating food on the tarmac and imposed hefty penalties on them. The Mumbai airport will have to pay ₹90 lakh penalty, while IndiGo will have to pay ₹1.20 crore as penalty. Separately, Air India and SpiceJet were also penalised for violations.
IndiGo has been penalised by regulator BCAS (Bureau of Civil Aviation Security); the penalty on Mumbai Airport was imposed by DGCA and BCAS, ₹30 lakh and ₹60 lakh, respectively.
At a time when the airlines are scrambling to streamline flights delayed by fog resulting in a mad rush at airports, a video surfaced showing an incident of IndiGo passengers rushing out at the Mumbai airport, sitting on the tarmac and having food as their flight was diverted. The ministry issued show cause notices to IndiGo and Mumbai Airport saying that they were not proactive in thwarting the situation which was a security threat.
IndiGo earlier said it already initiated an internal inquiry into the incident. The airline has not reacted after the hefty fine was imposed. "IndiGo has already initiated an internal inquiry to address the issue and will be responding to the notice as per protocol," it said in a statement.
What happened on the IndiGo flight? Why passengers were eating on tarmac?
IndiGo flight 6E2195 landed at Mumbai airport at 11.21pm on Sunday due to diversion. The airline allowed the passengers to disembark from the flight on to the tarmac and then proceed to flight 6E2091 – the flight they were supposed to take next. "The aircraft was allotted a remote bay C-33 instead of a Contact Stand, an aircraft parking stand that is suitable for walking passengers to and from an aircraft from an allocated boarding gate. This further added to passenger woes and deprived them of the opportunity to avail basic facilities like rest rooms and refreshments at the terminal," a PTI report said, explaining why the tired passengers sat on the tarmac and started eating.