A delayed New Year for Jet Airways, SpiceJet passengers

Jan 02, 2015, 06:59 IST | Neha LM Tripathi

A SpiceJet flight was grounded on New Year’s Eve after a bird hit the aircraft; 10 Jet Airways flights were delayed on January 1

New Year's Eve was not too cheerful for SpiceJet passengers, after their flight was grounded due to a bird hit on Wednesday evening. The first day of 2015 was no better for Jet Airways passengers as well, after 10 of the air carrier’s flights were delayed.

Delayed start to the year: Jet Airways staff announced that the flights were delayed due to operational reasons
Delayed start to the year: Jet Airways staff announced that the flights were delayed due to operational reasons

Twenty minutes after Thiruvananthapuram-bound SpiceJet flight SG 215 took off from the city’s domestic airport, the aircraft had to return after a bird hit it. After grounding the plane at 6.01 pm, the 108 passengers and seven crew-members were deboarded and engineers checked the aircraft. The passengers were then adjusted on an alternative aircraft, which took off an hour later.

The official spokesperson of SpiceJet said, “Bird and animal hits continue to be a big problem in the country. Besides being a safety hazard, the frequency of such incidents also contributes to the abnormally high cost of operations. The aircraft in question was inspected and repaired, while passengers were accommodated on another aircraft.”

Passengers flying by Jet Airways on January 1 were left fuming as 10 of the carrier’s arriving and departing flights in the city were delayed. While the airline staff at 1B terminal announced that the flights were delayed due to operational reasons, mid-day sources revealed that three Jet Airways pilots, who were expected to be on duty, were reportedly under the influence of alcohol due to late night New Year parties and were not able to clear the medical exam.

“Though poor visibility was also one of the reasons for delay on Thursday, the airline also faced shortage of pilots,” said a senior airport official. He alleged that while the airline announced that flights were delayed due to late arrival of incoming flights, and operational reasons, it was trying to hide the truth about shortage of pilots.

“Due to adverse weather conditions, some Jet Airways flights, in and out of Mumbai, have been subject to delay because of late arrival of aircraft and the crew-members being subject to flight and duty time limitations. Passengers have been apologised to for the delay and compensation has been offered, as per DGCA guidelines. Passenger safety is of paramount importance to us and we regret the inconvenience caused to them,” said the Official Spokesperson of Jet Airways.

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