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IndiGo bans 9 journalists from flying for alleged unruly behaviour

On September 9, IndiGo’s Chandigarh-Mumbai flight, with actor Kangana Ranaut as a passenger, witnessed violation of social distancing and safety protocols by television journalists, according to a report filed by the airline with aviation safety regulator DGCA.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi |
Updated: October 25, 2020 8:37:28 pm
indigo airlines, Kanagana Ranaut, Kanagana Ranaut Indigo flight, indigo bans journalists, Kangana ranaut news, Indian ExpressKangna Ranaut in Chandigarh amid high security on September 9, 2020. (Express Photo: Jasbir Malhi)

India’s largest airline IndiGo has banned nine journalists from flying between October 15-October 30 following recommendations by an internal committee that was formed to look into alleged unruly behaviour by the mediapersons on board a flight operated by the airline on September 9.

On September 9, IndiGo’s Chandigarh-Mumbai flight with film actress Kangana Ranaut as a passenger witnessed violation of social distancing and safety protocols by television journalists, according to a report filed by the airline with aviation safety regulator DGCA.

Following surfacing of a video showing mediapersons creating a ruckus in the IndiGo flight, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had issued punitive measures for airlines to ensure the ‘no in-flight photography’ rules are followed. DGCA noted in an order that in case of any violation on a scheduled flight, the said flight will be suspended for two weeks and will be restored only once the airline has taken all the necessary punitive action against those responsible for the violation.

The airline then filed a report with the DGCA saying that its crew followed all requisite protocols including announcements to restrict photography, follow social distancing and maintain overall safety. According to the rules prescribed for preventing disruptive behaviour on board aircraft, IndiGo formed an internal committee to look into the incident.

The rules define three categories of unruly behaviour: Level 1 refers to behaviour that is verbally unruly, and calls for debarment up to three months; Level 2 indicates physical unruliness and can lead to the passenger being debarred from flying for up to six months; Level 3 indicates life-threatening behaviour for which the debarment would be for a minimum of two years. According to an IndiGo source, the nine journalists, who have been banned from flying for 15 days till October 30, have already been notified of the decision.

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