This happened on a January 4 flight from Jodhpur to Mumbai, when Sonu Nigam was asked to sing for passengers over the PA. Furthermore, this was a charter flight, and allegedly all passengers on board knew each other and wanted him to sing, so he obliged.
Here’s a video of him singing on the flight:
Unfortunately the relevant Indian authorities weren’t happy with this “misuse” of the in-flight announcement system, and demanded that the cabin crew on the flight be suspended:
However, the aviation safety regulator — Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) — has taken a serious note of airhostesses allowing a passenger to take over the in-flight announcement system.
The regulator investigated the incident and asked the airline to suspend the airhostesses on board. Jet has also been asked to ensure that such “misuse” of the in-flight announcement system is not allowed in future.
Confirming the action, a statement issued by Jet said: “All cabin crew on the flight have been taken off flight duty for enquiry and corrective training to reinforce strict adherence to operating procedures.”
Seriously??? There have been similar instances in many other countries (including the US), yet somehow only India seems to take issue with this. If you’re more paranoid than the US when it comes to aviation safety, you might need to take a chill pill.
I’m not sure I get what the problem is with “misuse” of the in-flight announcement system in this situation? If the pilots needed to make an announcement they could cut off the cabin announcements, and if the cabin crew needed to make an announcement they could have taken over the PA.
Yet somehow an Air India pilot can get caught drunk ready to operate a flight three times and still have a job. And pilots licenses in India are fraudulently being issued to people who have flown just an hour. I think the DGCA’s priorities might not be in the right place.
This also isn’t the first time the DGCA has had problems with “live” inflight entertainment. A couple of years back they took issue with some live inflight dancing during Holi celebrations, on a flight between Goa and Bangalore:
The DGCA argued that the dancing endangered the flight because it could have thrown off the plane’s center of gravity, and that the distractions reduced the crew’s alertness and preparedness.
It might be time for the DGCA to step back and take a look at the “big picture.” If their real concern is someone famous singing over the PA while at cruise altitude with the seatbelt sign off, well, then, I’m not sure what to say…