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Pilots of Spicejet suspended for leaving the cockpit unmanned during the Holi dance surprise

Thursday, 20 March 2014 - 12:29pm IST | Place: BangaloreGoa | Agency: PTI

Mid-air Holi celebrations aboard eight flights have cost no-frill carrier SpiceJet heavily, with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) issuing show cause notice to the airline and suspending two of its pilots. On Monday, the cabin crew of SpiceJet performed a small dance sequence on a song as part of Holi celebrations, with some passengers also joining in. The videos of these events were taken and uploaded on video-sharing website YouTube and other social media.

SpiceJet on March 17 ran eight special flights with extra cabin crew onboard to do a 2.5-minute jig on the occasion of Holi.

In one video, a pilot is seen coming out of the cockpit and taking photographs of the celebrations at the front of the aisle. Official sources said the act constituted violation of all safety norms and two pilots were suspended. The DGCA summoned senior officials of the airline on Tuesday and sought an explanation. As per reports the DGCA had given the airline 15 days to respond to the show cause notice. Civil aviation watchdog has reportedly threatened to cancel SpiceJet's license. The airline said it was looking into the issue in cooperation with the DGCA.

The company defended itself saying that the cockpit was manned all the time."The cockpit was manned at all time as per DGCA regulations that govern the situation when one pilot is outside for example to use the lavatory," an airline spokesperson told reporters. "The dance was professionally choreographed and was Holi delight for passengers much like it is done by several airlines around the world to celebrate a special occasion. The entire dance sequence lasted 2.5 minutes," the spokesperson said.


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