The sacking of Jet Airways’ cabin crew for allowing Bollywood singer Sonu Nigam to sing on the plane’s intercom may have created a buzz on social media, but it was apparently a violation of aircraft rules. Aviation experts say Jet Airways took action against its crew as they violated their training manual and contractual agreement by endangering lives of passengers on board as well as the aircraft.
Sonu was on a flight from Jodhpur to Mumbai when fellow passengers asked him to perform.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has raised the point that passenger safety was compromised by the crew members when they allowed Sonu to perform.
“Under civil aviation requirements, it is clearly mentioned that the first job of the cabin crew is not to compromise the safety of passengers and the aircraft. But when Sonu was singing, the forward galley of the aircraft remained unattended and also, passengers were standing in the aisles. These acts were violations of aircraft rules,” an official said.
Recently, there have been incidents of passengers getting hurt due to air turbulence.
According to DGCA officials, another important aspect was that passengers were standing when the aircraft was descending. According to regulations, no one, including crew members, is allowed to stand when the flight is descending.
“Only authorised persons are allowed to operate the aircraft. The public announcement system is only for the crew. But they still allowed Sonu to use it to entertain other passengers,” a senior government official said.
Also, according to 39A (c) of the Aircraft Act, issuing authority can disqualify licence if crew is irresponsible in discharge of his duty connected with his employment or if he endangers the safety of passengers or aircraft. Officials said during training, the most important responsibility of the crew is the safety of passengers and the aircraft cabin.
“Jet Airways is cooperating with authorities in their investigation. Jet Airways has a zero-tolerance policy towards actions of employees that contravene local or international laws. This is clearly stipulated in our employee contracts and reinforced in the training sessions. We take all necessary disciplinary action in accordance with company policy and procedures,” Jet Airways said in a press statement.