India’s low-cost airline IndiGo was slapped with a Rs12 million (US$144,000) fine for allowing passengers have dinner right on the tarmac while waiting for a delayed flight at Mumbai Airport.
The fine was imposed by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, which monitors the safety of air travelers. It was the highest such fine imposed on an Indian airline in recent years, India Times reported.
Mumbai Airport was also fined $36,000 for failing to report the incident to the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security.
On Jan. 14, an Indigo flight from Goa to Delhi was forced to divert and land in Mumbai when fog caused limited visibility.
While waiting for the plane to take off again, passengers were allowed to deplane, and many sat down to eat on the tarmac.
A video went viral on social media, capturing the scene of passengers seated on the airport’s tarmac, sharing food, using mobile phones, and relaxing beside the IndiGo aircraft.
“We sincerely apologize to our customers and are currently looking into the incident,” IndiGo said in a statement, as reported by New Delhi Television. “We will take necessary steps to avoid any such instances in the future.”
Last year, American Airlines was fined $4.1 million for violating aviation safety regulations by leaving thousands of passengers sitting on the tarmac for hours.
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