Passengers of Air India flight AI054 to Kochi yesterday refused to fly as the aircraft was filled with an unbearable number of mosquitoes, which delayed the flight by almost two hours. This happened despite the Mumbai International Airport Ltd making efforts to fight the insect attack since two years.

After boarding the flight, which was scheduled to depart at 5.30 am, passengers complained of too many mosquitoes. The airline then asked all 121 of them to deboard the flight and sanitised it. “The passengers were asked to deboard and were seated in buses. The airline staff sprayed mosquito repellent in the plane,” said an MIAL official.

The plane could finally take off at 7.20 am. “Airport management and the municipality should take care of this. An airline can only spray repellents,” said an airline official.

The other side
“All measures are in place. We are cleaning Mithi river and even MCGM is doing their part in curbing the menace,” said an MIAL spokesperson.