Indian weddings and crazy times go hand in hand, but some people can cross the limits of craziness for a wedding. When India is dealing with the horrific second wave of the COVID-19, a couple from southern India’s Madurai city in Tamil Nadu exchanged wedding vows in a flight, to avoid the covid restrictions. This Madurai couple reserved the SpiceJet flight for a few hours to hold their wedding. It happened in the presence of family and friends, even as lockdown continued in their state and across most of India.

The visuals which were circulated on social media showed the plane packed with guests as the couple, dressed in wedding attire, and a camera operator filmed this moment. In the state of Tamil Nadu, on 23 May, 35,483 people tested positive for COVID-19. And with 422 deaths in the same day, the state’s COVID-19 toll increased to 20,468, the fourth-highest in India. Considering the situation, Tamil Nadu is under a COVID-19 lockdown and it only allows a maximum of 50 people to attend any wedding celebrations. However, the couple celebrated their wedding ceremony in the presence of about 170 guests and family members, and at that moment, the plane was over one of the well-known temples of Tamil Nadu, the Meenakshi Amman temple.

With their mid-air wedding, the couple tried to avoid the COVID-19 restrictions, but now it has ended up in even more trouble after photos and videos from this ceremony went viral on different social media platforms. Currently, the aviation regulator of India, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), on 24 May ordered an investigation into the wedding which took place aboard SpiceJet, and it also suspended the crew involved. An officer from DGCI said, “We have de-rostered the crew and directed the airline to lodge complaints against those not following COVID-19 appropriate behavior with relevant authorities. We will take strict action”.

The DGCI officials have said that the SpiceJet airline has been directed to file a complaint against the guests at the wedding for not following any covid protocols. A SpiceJet spokesperson told TOI that, “The approval for this flight was taken as a joy ride for the wedding group. The agent and 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 staff has also said that despite repeated requests and reminders the passengers did not follow any COVID-19 protocols. They also claimed that the passengers on that flight were instructed on the safety norms by the operating cabin crew and guided to follow the protocols decided by the DGCA, including all the restrictions related to photography and videography. And now SpiceJet has decided to take suitable actions against the passengers as per the rules.

The DGCA has recently issued a circular to all the airlines, airports, and the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) to penalize all the passengers who violate the Covid protocols, because despite all the warnings, some irresponsible passengers don’t follow the protocols while the duration of flights. This protocol indicated that the passengers who don’t wear masks or follow social distancing norms during the flight could land on the no-fly list for at least three months. And after the mid-air marriage event, SpiceJet has also said that they were uninformed of the actual purposes of their client and the flight was reserved for the purpose of some post-wedding joyride. The couple was also called out on different social media platforms and said it can turn out to be a covid super-spreader event in the region. The entire wedding ceremony confronted criticisms on social media as people blasted the couple and the guests for not following any COVID-19 protocols, as much of the country fights with the pandemic.