- A video of a bodybuilder smoking cigarette on a SpiceJet Dubai-Delhi flight surfaced on social media
- Passengers are not allowed to carry lighters or smoke on any planes
- After investigation, the airline had put the passenger on the "no flying list" for 15 days in Feb
A video of a bodybuilder smoking a cigarette on a SpiceJet Dubai-Delhi flight surfaced on social media, following which Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Thursday ordered an investigation.
The viral video shows Kataria -- who has 6.3 lakh followers on Instagram -- lighting a cigarette on one of the back rows of a SpiceJet plane, lying down on all three seats and smoking.
Passengers are not allowed to carry lighters or smoke on any planes.
SpiceJet said that the smoking incident took place on its Dubai-Delhi flight on January 20 when passengers were boarding the plane and the cabin crew members were busy completing the on-boarding procedure.
After investigation, the airline had put the passenger on the "no flying list" for 15 days in February, it mentioned.
As per the regulations of aviation regulator DGCA, an airline has the power to ban an "unruly" passenger for a certain period of time if he or she violates any rules. When the video of this incident was posted on Twitter on Thursday, Scindia responded: "Investigating it. There will be no tolerance towards such hazardous behaviour."
Sources from the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) said on Thursday that the video of this incident came to their knowledge in January this year and they had then written to the airline concerned and subsequently sent a complaint to the police in Gurugram.
"We understand the police filed a complaint against him there (in Gurugram)," one of the CISF sources said.
In a statement, SpiceJet said: "This is with reference to a video on social media of a passenger smoking onboard a SpiceJet aircraft. The matter had been investigated thoroughly in January 2022 when the video was brought to our notice and a complaint had been filed by the airline with the Udyog Vihar Police Station in Gurugram."
The video, the investigation had revealed, was shot on January 20, 2022, while passengers were boarding flight SG 706 scheduled to fly from Dubai to Delhi, it said.
"The said passenger and his co-passengers shot the video on the 21st row when the cabin crew were occupied with completing the on-boarding procedure. None of the passengers or crew was aware of the act. The matter came to the airline's notice on January 24, 2022, through social media posts," it said.
"The matter was referred to the Internal Committee constituted as per the provisions of Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) on the handling of unruly passengers (not consisting of any SpiceJet employee). The said the passenger was put on a no flying list by the airline for 15 days in February 2022," the carrier said.