New Delhi: Four passengers on board Alliance Air’s Jammu-Delhi flight on Tuesday were deboarded after found flouting Covid-19 norms inside the flight even after repeated warnings by the cabin crew, according to Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). This is the first such instance after DGCA issued orders last week directing airport authorities and airlines to take strict action against those not complying with Covid-19 protocols at airports and inside flights.
The passengers were charged as ‘unruly/disruptive passengers’ for not wearing masks properly after repeated warning by the flight staff and were handed over to security agencies at Delhi Airport.
Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri in a tweet said, “I appeal to all air passengers to strictly follow the laid down Covid-19 protocol to safeguard themselves & others around them. Precaution is always better than cure…& disrupted travel plans! Fly Safe.”
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Saturday said that passengers will be “de-boarded” from flights if they don’t wear masks properly inside the aircraft or don’t follow “Covid-19 appropriate behaviour”.
“Onboard the Aircraft, in case any passenger does not adhere to wearing of mask properly even after repeated warnings, he or she should be de-boarded, if need be, before departure,” DGCA circular read.
Taking note of the violation, the DGCA said some travellers undertaking air journey do not adhere to “COVID-19 Protocols”.
“If any passenger onboard an aircraft refuses to wear a mask or violates the COVID-19 Protocol for passengers even after repeated warnings,” the DGCA said such passenger may be treated as “Unruly Passenger”.
“It has also been noted that some passengers after entering the Airport do not wear mask properly and also do not maintain social distance while being in the airport premises,” the DGCA said.
“The mask shall not be moved below the nose except under exceptional circumstances. CISF or other police personnel deployed at airport entrance shall ensure that no one is allowed to enter the airport without wearing a mask,” the DGCA order further read.
Alliance Air is a subsidiary of state-run Air India.
“However, on constant request, when the passengers did not adhere to the laid down guidelines and could have endangered other fellow passengers, we apprised the concerned authorities,” a spokesperson of Alliance Air was reported saying.
The DGCA order came after a high court judge observed violation of Covid norms by domestic flight passengers recently and directed the airlines regulatory body to issue orders for strict compliance of the pandemic-time rules by all the travellers.