Thursday, April 08, 2021

Four domestic flyers refused to follow Covid norms so far this month, facing action

New Delhi: Four travellers so far this month have refused to wear masks properly onboard aircraft despite warnings and now stare at the prospect of being barred from flying for anywhere up to three months under the unruly flyer norms. Coupled with 15 cases last month, airlines  have now initiated action against 19 domestic passengers for violating Covid norms on flights between March 15 and April 5, 2021.

All the four Covid violations so far this month have been reported to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation  by IndiGo. These passengers, one each on — Chennai-Delhi of last Thursday (April 1); Delhi-Chandigarh (April 2); Bengaluru-Kolkata (April 4) and Varanasi-Delhi (April 5) — were handed over to security agencies on landing at the destination.

Of the 19 Covid violators so far since March 15, 13 refused to follow Covid norms on as many IndiGo domestic flights; four on an Alliance Air and two on an AirAsia India flight. While three passengers

were taken off the aircraft before take off, all the others were handed over to security agencies and cases registered against them on arrival at destination.

Following a Delhi high court order, the aviation regulator has ordered security agencies not to allow airport entry to passengers not wearing masks; asked airlines to deboard passengers who refuse to wear masks properly before take off and begin action under unruly flyer rules for those do not wear a mask properly inflight.

Under DGCA’s unruly flyer norms, the airline on whose flight disruptive behaviour took place can put a person on no fly list for certain time as per the gravity of his or her safety violation after following a due process. During this period this person cannot

fly that airline. Other carriers are free to bar that unruly person from flying on them too for the same period. So far whenever Indian airlines have taken such action against someone deemed unruly, they all have collectively barred the person for flying for some time.

Last October, IndiGo had barred nine electronic media personnel from flying for a fortnight after they violated Covid norms like not maintaining social distancing and not wearing masks while covering actress Kangana Ranaut’s journey from Chandigarh to Mumbai last September.

08/04/21 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

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