Mumbai: Passengers wait for AI flight for nearly 29 hours

The Air India flight, AI 921 from Mumbai to Riyadh, was scheduled to leave around 7.35 am yesterday; passengers were initially told it was delayed and later that it was cancelled

A technical snag in an aircraft has made Air India’s passengers wait for their flight to Riyadh from Mumbai for nearly 29 hours. Flight AI 921 to Riyadh, which had its Scheduled Time of Departure (STD) around 7.35 am on Thursday, was delayed due to the snag. An announcement of flight cancellation was made later.

The passengers of the flight were to be accommodated at a hotel by the airline, but by 10 pm on Thursday they were still at Terminal 2
The passengers of the flight were to be accommodated at a hotel by the airline, but by 10 pm on Thursday they were still at Terminal 2

The flight was rescheduled for 4 am on Friday but it was learnt at the time of going to press that it would leave at 12.30 pm. The 329 passengers that were to take this flight were informed initially that it was delayed.

The announcement of flight cancellation was made around 3 pm and the airline staff had also announced that the passengers would be shifted to a hotel. However, they remained at the check in area of the departure section of Terminal 2 till 10 pm yesterday.

“It was announced that the flight would be taking off at 5 am on Friday. The passengers were served complimentary food,” said an airline official, when contacted regarding the delay.

Official speak
Asked for the reason behind the non-availability of aircraft for flight AI 921, the official spokesperson of Air India explained, “The aircraft wasn’t available as it was grounded at Trivandrum due to technical snag. It was to go to Riyadh and then come to Mumbai to operate on the BOM-Riyadh route. However the passengers of AI 921 were accommodated in a hotel.”

Not the first
On January 2, flight AI 9614 from Mumbai to Allahabad was slated to take off at 12.45 pm, but at 1.30 pm it was announced that it had been cancelled. mid-day had reported (‘AI flights cancelled, passengers create ruckus at airport’, January 4) how the frustrated passengers had a heated argument with the airport staff, as they had faced a similar situation on December 30. Some of them had been asked to report back on January 2, but were once again, let down by the unavailability of the aircraft. The reason for the delay given by a spokesperson then was unavailability of crew.

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