Update: Suspension of crew is ‘intolerance’, Sonu Nigam tweeted.
New Delhi: Five airhostesses of Jet Airways have been grounded for allowing playback artiste Sonu Nigam to sing from the plane’s address system. The in-flight concert took place during a chartered flight from Jodhpur to Mumbai on January 4.
According to reports, all passengers on board knew each other and requested Nigam to sing. The singer obliged and sang two songs Do pal ruka from Yash Raj Films’ Veer Zaara and Panchhi nadiya from Abhishek Bachchan’s launch movie, Refugee.
When the passengers started singing with Nigam, he said: “Arrey wah, aap bhi gaatein hain. My God, saare singer hain (Wow, you all can sing too. Everyone’s a singer here).” Videos of the singer crooning in air were posted on social media by some flyers and went viral.
However, the aviation safety regulator — Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) — has taken a serious note of airhostesses allowing a passenger to take over the in-flight announcement system.
The regulator investigated the incident and asked the airline to suspend the airhostesses on board. Jet has also been asked to ensure that such “misuse” of the in-flight announcement system is not allowed in future.
Confirming the action, a statement issued by Jet said: “All cabin crew on the flight have been taken off flight duty for enquiry and corrective training to reinforce strict adherence to operating procedures.”
This is not the first time that an Indian airline has got into trouble for allowing singing or dancing in the air. Two years back, another private airline had made the crew of some flights dance mid-air to the song Balam pichkari on Holi.
The DGCA had issued a show cause notice to the airline, asking why its licence should not be suspended. “These acts by the cabin crew had drawn the attention of other crew on duty, thus reducing their preparedness/alertness. The frequent movement of the dancing crew may have affected the aircraft’s centre of gravity during flight and created turbulence….”
The airline was charged with permitting use of cellphones in the air to take pictures “against present regulation” as use of personal electronic devices in airplane mode was not allowed at the time. “(The airline) might have instigated passengers to become unruly…. It is established that (the airline) failed to observe various safety regulations,” the notice had said.