The packed plane flying amidst a pandemic in the viral video belongs to Pakistan, not India

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A viral video is circulating on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, claiming that government-run airlines Air India, has been charging three times the actual fare to transport Indian passengers that have been stranded abroad since a nationwide lockdown was announced.  According to the caption under various posts, this has been done to cover the social distancing costs, but the plane was still “packed” to the maximum capacity.

Facebook

An account named I Amritsar posted this video which has been viewed more than 4000 times.

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Another account named DrAK Gupta posted the same video which has been shared over a hundred times and viewed around 4000 times.

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Twitter

The video has been making rounds on Twitter too with the caption “इस तरह ठूंस ठूंस कर विदेशों से यात्री लाए जा रहे हैं।” which roughly translates to the passengers from abroad are being transported in these packed flights. 

It was tweeted by an account named बेबाक आवाज़ and has more than 6000 views.

Truth

This plane is of Pakistan International Airlines, not Air India

After a simple reverse image search on google, it turned out that the claim attached to this video is fake.

The search directed towards a news article that was published last month. The video was actually shot in a flight belonging to Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) that was flying from Toronto to Islamabad.

The article can be read here.

Upon further digging, a tweet was found with the same video, linking the flight flouting social distancing norms to PIA. It was tweeted on 27th April, whereas the massive Indian evacuation exercise named the Vande Bharat mission to bring back its citizens stranded abroad started on May 7.

If we compare the two videos, it is very clear that the man who can be seen speaking in both the videos is the same.

We ran the video in one fourth speed and found Pakistan written on the display

Last year, Pakistani news channel ARY news published an article reporting a ruckus created in PIA’s Islamabad bound flight. The article consists of an in-flight image. If we look closely, we can clearly see the similarities between the interior of the flight, proving that it is indeed a PIA plane.

Moreover, The Press Information Bureau also took to Twitter to clarify the same and deem this video as fake.


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Shreya Kachroo

A journalist in making with a thousand questions.