The Covid-19 pandemic has put a dampener on nuptials with many postponing or cancelling their wedding plans due to curfew rules and restrictions in place across several Indian states amid the second wave. But some are finding a way around the curfew rules and managing to tie the knot in unusual ceremonies despite the pandemic. For instance, a couple from Madurai, Tamil Nadu, got married in mid-air to get around the cap of 50 person cap on gatherings amid fresh Covid-19 restrictions in the state. The couple, Rakesh and Dakshina, decided to rent an entire chartered flight for two hours and invited 161 guests so that they could get married in full attendance of all their friends and family.
A SpiceJet Boeing 737 was chartered by a travel agent in Madurai on May 23, 2021 for a group of passengers for a joy ride post their wedding. The client was clearly briefed on Covid guidelines to be followed and denied permission for any activity to be performed on board. The approval for this flight was taken as a joy ride for the wedding group.
The agent and the guest passengers were briefed in detail, both in writing as well as verbally, on social distancing and safety norms to be followed as per Covid guidelines both at the airport and on board the aircraft throughout the journey.
The group was repeatedly briefed on the safety norms to be followed by the operating cabin crew and advised to follow the protocols laid down by DGCA including restrictions on photography and videography.
“A SpiceJet chartered flight was booked yesterday from Madurai. The Airport Authority officials are unaware of the mid-air marriage ceremony," Madurai Airport Director S Senthil Velavan told ANI. In the presence of the guests, the couple tied the knot exactly when the plane was flying over the Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai.
The wedding party flew from Madurai to Bengaluru and returned to Madurai after the nuptials were concluded on the first trip. Photos and videos of the incident have been going viral on social media.
In visuals from the plane, the couple can be seen surrounded by guests, all of whom violated Covid-19 protocols. No social distancing was followed in the so-called ‘big fat’ Indian wedding despite the coronavirus pandemic’s second wave.
Despite repeated requests and reminders, the passengers did not follow Covid guidelines and the airline is taking appropriate action as per rules. However, in the latest twist to the tale, an image of crew members onboard the Spice Jet flight posing with the newly married couple has gone viral on social media, contrary to Spcie Jet’s official position on the matter.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu is currently in lockdown until May 31, as many as 35,483 persons tested positive for Covid-19.