Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Fact Check: No, this filthy flight was not carrying Indian Haj pilgrims

A video of a dirty aircraft cabin has gone viral on social media with the claim that it is an Air India flight with Hajis.

The 52-second video posted on Facebook and Instagram shows the aircraft cabin strewn with toilet papers, littered floors and toilets soiled with faeces.

Attached below are a few screen shots from the viral video.
India Today’s Anti Fake News War Room (AFWA) has found the claim to be misleading. The viral video is not of any Air India flight with Haj pilgrims.

In fact, the footage has been in circulation since 2016. The said aircraft reportedly belonged to the Saudi Arabian Airlines, and was flying from Jeddah in Saudi Arabia to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.
Besides visuals of littered cabin floor and soiled toilets, the video also shows some passengers with skull caps in the aircraft.

Several users such as Farzi Baaten and Chowkidar Kp Prashanth Nair who posted the video claimed that the passengers were Haj pilgrims on an Air India flight.

Using InVid and Yandex verification tools, and reverse image search on the viral video, we found that the same clip was published by video-sharing website LiveLeak on September 6, 2016. The video was captioned: The disgusting state of an Airbus A330 of Saudi Arabian Airlines.

With the help of keyword search, we found that the same video was published in an article by Daily Mail on September 6, 2016.

According to this report, the footage was reportedly filmed on an inaugural flight of Saudi Arabian Airlines (also known as Saudia) from Jeddah in Saudi Arabia to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.

The same incident was also reported by Arab News and Gulf Business on September 7, 2016.

These news reports also confirmed that the aircraft cabin seen in the video was the first flight of Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) Airbus A330 from Jeddah to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.

As per the Arab News article, a source in Saudia confirmed on condition of anonymity that most passengers seen in the video were deportees.
09/07/19 Chayan Kundu/India Today
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