VIPs continue to delay flights: pilots

April 21st, 2008 - 8:01 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 21 (IANS) MPs and VIPs continue to hold up flights and are largely responsible for flight delays, a majority of Indian commercial pilots have said in a poll. Over 67 percent of pilots, who took part in a poll conducted by NDTV, blamed VIPs for flights getting delayed. Many of them felt that the aviation sector was still in the clutches of the bureaucracy.

The survey covered a sample size of around 107 pilots across Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Bangalore and Chennai. Its aim was to find out how often flights were being delayed and rescheduled due to VIPs not reaching the airport on time.

About 49 percent of the pilots said they had to delay their flights at least five times for an MP or some other VIP, 13 percent said they delayed it four times and 14 percent said flights were late thrice. Seventeen percent said they had to hold up a flight only once.

In the poll, pilots were asked if they feared losing their job if they did not wait for a VIP. About 15 percent replied in the affirmative.

Earlier this month, MP P.V. Abdul Wahab Wahab was made to disembark from a Kozhikode-Kochi Indian Airlines flight en route to Dubai after an altercation with the pilot, Captain Rajat Rana. Wahab was offloaded from the flight for being late and allegedly calling the pilot a “glorified driver”.

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