LONDON – In a very bizarre incident, Go First flight G8 116 took off on time but left around 50 passengers on the tarmac in the coach bus.
This incident triggered a show-cause notice from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation of India (DGCA), the incident took place on January 9, 2023.
Leaving 50 passengers stranded…
G8 116 was scheduled to depart from Kempegowda International Airport (Bengaluru) to Indira Gandhi International Airport (New Delhi), with a scheduled time of departure was 07:00 a.m.
As this was a remote stand, boarding passengers were being loaded into coaches which would take them to the aircraft, in this instance the last coach which had approximately 50 passengers onboard, kept roaming around the airport.
By the time staff and passengers realized this incident the aircraft had already taken off with their bags on it. This is a bizarre incident as many procedures and protocols are involved to ensure that such incidents do not occur.
Firstly, the ground staff must ensure that the number of expected passengers to board the flight and the number of passengers who have boarded the flight match, this process is done both by scanning the boarding card at the gate and manually by ground staff present at the aircraft entrance.
They should have had crossed checked both the count of expected and actual passengers who had boarded. Even the cabin crew before announcing “boarding complete” must check the headcount of passengers before giving the all-clear.
An investigation is underway to determine what the total expected count of passengers was given to the cabin crew and pilots.
One major highlight is that the total fuel calculation is done on the basis of the number of passengers and cargo present onboard the aircraft.
Airlines worldwide lose millions of dollars by delaying the aircraft as they must off-load checked-in luggage of a passenger who hasn’t turned up at the boarding gate on time.
This particular incident has resulted in a major security breach as not only did the airline forget to board these passengers, but the aircraft flew with their checked-in luggage.
Go First swiftly acknowledged this incident and started its own internal investigation, as such, all the members of staff who were involved in this incident have been de-rostered until the investigation has been completed.
The passengers affected by this incident were subsequently arranged to travel to Delhi on Go First’s later flight and as part of compensation, each passenger received a free “Domestic Travel Voucher” from the airline.
“Go First failed to comply with the provision specified in para 9 and 13 of CAR Section 3, Series C, Part II issued by DGCA resulting in a violation of Para (1A) of Rule 134 read with Schedule XI of the Aircraft Rules, 1937. M/s Go First has failed to comply with the provision specified in para 5.2 of ATC 02 of 2019.”
“It is pertinent to mention that DGCA has issued Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) Section -3, Series-C, Part-II on Minimum Requirements for Grant of Air Operator Certificate to Operate Scheduled Air Transport Services (Passenger) and Air Transport Circular 02 of 2019 on ‘Facilities/Courtesies to the esteemed traveling public at airports.”
“Multiple mistakes such as lack of proper communication, co-ordination, reconciliation, and confirmation have resulted in a highly avoidable situation and therefore, the DGCA has issued a show cause notice to the accountable manager/chief operation officer of Go First as to why enforcement action should not be taken against them for dereliction of their regulatory obligations.”
“However, to follow the principles of natural justice, they have been given two weeks time to submit their reply to DGCA, and based on this further action will be initiated,” the DGCA said in a statement.