Indian airlines face two week suspensions for unruly passenger behaviour

The warning came after Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut was mobbed by reporters on an IndiGo flight to Mumbai

Arriving TLS after a test flight.
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Airlines in India that fail to uphold social distancing and safety rules will face a two-week flight suspension, according to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

The notice came after Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut was mobbed by members of the media on a flight on Wednesday.

The actor was flying on IndiGo flight 6E-264 from Chandigarh in the north of the country to Mumbai.

Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut (C) visits her office 'Manikarnika Films' a day after structures within those premises were demolished under a decision of Bombay Municipal Corporation (BMC), in Mumbai on September 10, 2020.  / AFP / Sujit Jaiswal
Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut. AFP

A video shared on social media and shot by a passenger on the same flight shows reporters crowding around the actor. Many of the passengers involved also failed to wear face masks properly.

In the video, the airline crew can be heard making an announcement asking passengers to take their seats.

The Indian aviation authority has asked lndia's largest airline for a report on what it is deeming a "safety incident".

It has also reminded airlines about a 1937 aviation rule that prohibits people from taking photographs on flights without permission.

IndiGo said, in a statement, that its crew members had followed the correct protocols.

"We would like to reiterate that our cabin crew, as well as the captain, followed all the requisite protocols, including announcements to restrict photography, follow social distancing and maintain overall safety," the airline said.

The aviation authority warned airlines that if they show "a lack of diligence" in enforcing rules they will face a two-week suspension.

"From now on, in case any such violation occurs, the schedule of flight for that particular route shall be suspended for a period of two weeks from the next day," reads the DGCA's statement.

According to Indian aviation rules, unruly passengers can also be barred from flying for a period of time.