Kolkata: An Air India Kolkata-Chennai flight that was scheduled to leave NSCB Airport here at 6:30 PM this evening was first delayed by two hours due to technical reasons and finally cancelled when the pilot's flight duty time limit expired, leading to high drama.
An airline official said that flight AI-765 was readied for take-off at 8:30 PM but as the flight duty time limit of the pilot of the said aircraft expired, the plane could not take off even as there was no stand-by pilot available.
The passengers, who had received their boarding pass, initially refused to disembark and relented only after being persuaded to do so by AI officials, who promised that they would be put on the first AI flight tomorrow morning and also offered them either hotel accommodation or transportation, an AI official said at around 11 PM.
One of the Chennai-bound passengers, Harishankar, said that the passengers demanded that the airlines make arrangements for the plane to take off tonight itself.
He added that there was a lot of commotion when AI first made the announcement cancelling the flight. The commotion continued for about half-an-hour inside the aircraft, airport sources said.