Aviation Ministry Raps IndiGo After Passengers Spotted Eating On Runway

Dhaneshwar Prasad

Mumbai airport faced an unexpected situation on January 14th when passengers on a stranded IndiGo flight were captured on camera enjoying airport catering food while seated on the inactive runway.

An incident that has gained significant attention online has prompted the Civil Aviation Ministry to request an explanation from IndiGo and Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL).

According to reports, there was a delay in the arrival of IndiGo flight 6E2195 from Jaipur on the midnight of January 14th.

Due to the aircraft’s inability to reach the terminal, the passengers were unfortunately stranded on the taxiway for more than 90 minutes. After a while, the passengers were asked to leave the plane and were taken to the runway at around 1:30 AM.

Without any transportation arranged to the terminal, the passengers settled in on the inactive runway. The airport staff distributed food and water that was supplied by the terminal caterers.

Passengers quickly shared images and videos of themselves enjoying dinner on the Mumbai runway, sparking widespread outrage on social media due to the inadequate facilities.

Aviation Ministry Seeks Answers

In response to the incident, Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia promptly convened an emergency meeting on January 15th with officials from the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

Expressing concern about the apparent breakdown in communication and coordination between the airline, airport, and ground handling agency, a notice was sent to both IndiGo and MIAL, requesting an explanation.

According to the notice, IndiGo did not assign a contact stand to the incoming flight within the terminal. This would have made it convenient for the passengers to go to the departure gates for their connecting flights.

In addition, it is claimed that IndiGo failed to adhere to security regulations when disembarking passengers from the incoming flight and then boarding them onto other flights.

MIAL has faced criticism for not providing essential facilities like washrooms or refreshments for stranded passengers. In addition, MIAL did not effectively communicate the delay to passengers using the public announcement systems.

The show cause notice highlights the issue of inadequate coordination resulting in significant difficulties experienced by passengers.

New Guidelines Issued For Flight Delays

Given the frequent occurrences of flight delays at different airports, the Ministry has established guidelines for airlines and airport operators.

As per the latest guidelines released on January 15th, airlines are now required to promptly inform passengers about any flight delays via SMS or other communication methods. Flight schedules should include appropriate buffer times to allow for unexpected delays.

Additionally, airport operators have been advised to utilize social media platforms as a means of disseminating up-to-date details about any potential flight delays. In addition, it is necessary for airports to offer passengers of flights that are delayed by more than 4 hours with provisions such as food, water, and resting facilities.

It is important for airports to have emergency medical facilities readily accessible in the event of a medical emergency.

MIAL Orders High-Level Inquiry

In response to the incident, MIAL has taken the initiative to establish a high-level committee to investigate the shortcomings. According to MIAL, the pilot of the incoming flight decided to wait on the taxiway for 45 minutes, hoping to find an available bay.

Passengers were finally allowed to disembark onto the runway after waiting for an hour, with security agencies closely monitoring the process.

The airport caterers made sure that the stranded passengers were provided with food and water. MIAL asserts that all actions were carried out with passenger convenience in mind. However, a lack of coordination among different stakeholders resulted in the regrettable incident.

Both MIAL and IndiGo may face penalties from the Aviation Ministry if they are found to be lacking during the ongoing investigation.

The unusual event has brought attention to the challenges that passengers encounter as a result of the significant increase in air traffic, which has put a strain on airport infrastructure. Given the ongoing flight delays, the new guidelines have been introduced to alleviate passenger difficulties by improving communication and facilities.

Nevertheless, it is essential to invest in more airport capacity in order to accommodate the projected increase in traffic in the future.

Actor Kapil Sharma Also Slams IndiGo Airline for Flight Delay

Actor and comedian Kapil Sharma expressed his frustration through twitter post with IndiGo Airlines due to a delayed flight on 29 November 2023.

He vented his annoyance on social media, complaining that the airline kept the passengers waiting for a long time and blamed the delay on the pilot being caught in traffic.

Sharma’s social media posts brought attention to the considerable delay and conveyed his discontent with how the airline managed the situation.

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Former Sony professional turned multi-business owner and stock investor, Dhaneshwar leverages his MBA to produce market, IPO and biz content and personal investments on Indimarket.in.
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