The low-cost airline GoFirst issued a statement on January 10, one day after the GoFirst flight from Bengaluru to Delhi took off, leaving 55 passengers behind. The statement explained that a lack of proper communication, coordination, reconciliation, and confirmation resulted in the highly avoidable situation.
On January 9, irate passengers who had been left waiting in a passenger bus on the tarmac resorted to Twitter to demand explanations from the airline that they were flying with. In their tweets, a few of them also mentioned the offices of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Minister of Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia.
The DGCA has asked them to provide an explanation as to why enforcement action should not be taken against them for failing to fulfil their regulatory requirements, and they have been given until April 5 to respond. The airline has been given a deadline of two weeks to provide their response, and once that deadline has been met, additional action will be taken.
According to the DGCA regulations, the airline is responsible “to ensure adequate arrangements for ground handling, preparation of load and trim sheet, flight dispatch, and passenger/cargo handling, and also ensure that all the ground handling staff engaged in passenger handling undergo periodic soft skill training for sensitization, courtesy, behaviour, and procedures for assisting the passengers.”
The event takes place at a time when airlines are under increased scrutiny regarding the way in which they treat their passengers. This comes after several incidents of misbehaviour have been reported on flights, including two instances of drunk flyers urinating on fellow passengers and another of people drinking alcohol on domestic flights.