Air India passengers stranded yet again, protest

November 4th, 2010 - 6:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Nov 4 (IANS) Nearly 200 passengers of Air India’s Frankfurt-Mumbai flight had a harrowing time Wednesday night after the aircraft was diverted to Delhi and they were stranded for over nine hours at the airport.

The passengers said the pilots and crew walked out of the plane after the flight reached Delhi, leaving them inside. They said they were not informed about the change in flight plan.

The flight landed in Delhi at 5 p.m. Wednesday and took off for Mumbai at 2.15 a.m.

After it reached Mumbai early Thursday, the angry passengers shouted slogans against the airline.

According to an Air India official, the pilots and crew on the flight from Frankfurt to Mumbai had served the eight-hour duty time and under international regulations they could not have operated the flight.

“We arranged for a another set of aircraft crew and pilots to take the flight from Delhi to Mumbai. In the meantime we provided the passengers with refreshments and dinner,” the official said.

The airline is facing an acute shortage of ground handling staff and facilities at the domestic terminal of the integrated T3, which will be fully operational from Nov 14.

“We are in a transition process which involves many aspects like training and available facilities. We are utilizing all available manpower and are also in touch with the authorities concerned. There will be improvements within one or two days,” said the official.

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