Patna: Two passengers on a Delhi-Patna IndiGo flight were arrested by the Patna Airport Police with help of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) on Sunday evening for consuming alcohol on a domestic flight, which is prohibited. Sources said there was no ruckus onboard in the 80-minutes-long flight, and the accused stopped and apologised when a crew member intervened.
According to protocol, the airline informed the Air Traffic Controller, and they were arrested on arrival, sources said.
The CISF took them into custody and later handed them over to the airport police, after which a breath analysis test confirmed both passengers were drunk, Jitendra Singh Gangwar, Additional Director General (ADG) in Bihar Police, said.
IndiGo, in a tweet, clarified that there was no altercation onboard the aircraft.
“With reference to the incident that took place onboard 6E 6383 from Delhi to Patna, the matter is under investigation with the authorities. We would like to clarify that there was no altercation onboard the aircraft, as what is being reported in some sections of social media,” it said.
With reference to the incident that took place onboard 6E 6383 from Delhi to Patna, the matter is under investigation with the authorities. We would like to clarify that there was no altercation onboard the aircraft, as what is being reported in some sections of social media.
— IndiGo (@IndiGo6E) January 9, 2023
Sources at the civil aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said that a passenger informed the crew that some people were drinking beer inside the flight. They were a group of six people. The pilot was informed when the crew intervened and saw empty cans in the seat pockets. Two passengers confessed and were handed over to the security along with relevant documentation, they added.
CISF sources said two passengers “camouflaged” and took drinks while boarding the plane. “They tried to consume liquor on the way to Patna. When passengers next to them smelt alcohol, the matter was brought to the notice of IndiGo staff, and the two passengers were handed over to CISF in Patna,” they said.
This comes days after the arrest of Shankar Mishra, the Mumbai man who urinated on a woman on an Air India New York-Delhi flight while drunk last month, created a huge uproar over the six-week delay in action against him. Social media users expressed shock and disgust at the handling of the incident by the airline. Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran later admitted that Air India’s response should have been swifter. “We fell short of addressing this situation the way it should have been,” Mr Chandrasekaran said in a statement on Sunday.
Air India CEO Campbell Wilson had also apologised and said four cabin crew and a pilot were de-rostered, and the airline is reviewing its “policy on service of alcohol in flight”.