A video capturing passengers complain about a full flight and lack of social distancing to crew members of a Pakistan International Airlines flight, is being falsely shared as Air India.
Air India spokesperson Dhananjay Kumar confirmed to BOOM that footage being circulated is not from an AI flight.
"This is false, the video is not from an Air India aircraft. If you see in the viral video, the seat covers do not match with an Air India aircraft," Kumar said.
The video is being shared in the backdrop of India operating flights to bring back Indians stranded overseas under the operation titled 'Vande Bharat Mission'. The mission started on May 7, 2020, and nearly 15,000 Indians stranded overseas are expected to return on special Air India flights from 12 countries over the week reported The Indian Express.
In the 45 seconds clip, one can hear passengers complaining to the flight crew on being made to sit next to each other instead of leaving a one-seat gap and that the airline was overcharging them but still failed to take adequate social distancing measures.
The video is being shared with the false caption, "Air India rips off people. After charging them thrice the ticket price in the name of social distancing, packs every seat in the flight."
We searched on Facebook with the same caption and found that it was being shared with the false claim.
On scrolling threw the comments section, we found several users pointing out that the viral video is not from an Air India flight, but from a Karachi to Toronto flight of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).
We found Pakistani news reports on the incident reporting that passengers on the PIA flight had protested against the Pakistani national carrier as they alleged that social distancing norms were not being followed during the flight.
Pakistani Journalist Murtaza Ali Shah from Geo News had tweeted the same viral clip on April 26, 2020, on Twitter stating that it was from a PIA flight. On comparing the visuals in this clip and the viral video one can see that both match which confirm they are the same clip.
The national carrier also rubbished the false claims being made on social media replying to users sharing the video stating that is not from an Air India aircraft and advising people not to spread misinformation.
Dear Pax, The video is not of an Air India aircraft. You are advised not to spread such misinformation in a public domain which may create panic & is a recognised offence. We are compelled to report your tweet for maligning Air India & sparking false anxiety.— Air India (@airindiain) May 8, 2020
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On can spot the same individuals and the same luggage in the viral video and the video reported as from PIA aircraft.
A PIA spokesperson, however, claimed that all safety measures were taken and the planes were disinfected stating that passengers were provided masks and gloves and the tickets were overpriced because the flight had to come back from Canada empty reported Samma TV on April 26, 2020.
Indian wire agency ANI (Asian News International) also reported about the video on April 29, 2020, calling it a PIA flight.
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