A wedding party was returning to Mumbai from the nuptials in Jodhpur on 4 January (16) when they spied Sonu on board and urged him to entertain them with a few songs.

The singer, whose work has featured in hit Bollywood movies, used the jet's public address system to sing two numbers, Do Pal Ruka and Panchhi Nadiya, but the surprise show has landed the plane's crew in hot water.

Several passengers filmed Sonu singing, and when the clips were brought to the attention of officials at the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, they ordered bosses at Jet Airways to act.

Five flight attendants who sanctioned the mid-air stunt have been taken off duty and will be given further training to avoid a repeat of the incident, but the heavy-handed punishment has angered Sonu.

In a statement, he says, "I have witnessed an elaborate fashion show in an aircraft. I have heard of small concerts happening in an aircraft. I have seen pilots and crew members cracking humorous jokes to loosen up passengers in other countries, which is so cool. To suspend crew members for asking me to sing on the address system, when the seat belt signs were off, and no announcements were to be made, is nothing less than punishing someone for spreading happiness...

"Pity there's no one to question such harshness except the media perhaps. Indians need to loosen up. This act of lack of common sense, according to me, is real intolerance."