Air India passengers relieved to get home, some miffed with Pakistan

July 9th, 2012 - 11:35 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 9 (IANS) Back home after a 12-hour ordeal, some passengers of the Air India flight that made an emergency landing in Pakistan’s southern Sindh province early Monday morning were upset about not receiving any help from the neighbouring country.

Interaction with a dozen passengers revealed that despite India lauding the “good cooperation” from the Pakistani authorities for ensuring their safe return, some passengers felt that they were ill-treated.

Ramesh Chandiwala, 66-year-old chartered accountant, termed the Pakistani authorities rigid and saidthat the experience had left a bad taste in his mouth.

Chandiwala also slammed Air India condemning the national carrier of “acting late.”

“We were not allowed to step out and they did not provide any refreshments,” said another passenger Jayashree Purohit, who had gone to Abu Dhabi on a vacation with her family.

However, as an official here explained, “since Nawabshah airport (where the aircraft made an emergency landing) is a non-scheduled civilian airport, passengers without a visa are not allowed to disembark”. Even so, meals and basic provisions were provided through a local restaurant at Nawabshah”.

Official sources in New Delhi said: “The Pakistani authorities went out of their way and were very helpful and cooperative… providing water and refreshments to the stranded passengers.”

Flight AI-940, carrying 122 passengers departed Abu Dhabi at 0015 hours Monday after originating from Bahrain and made an emergency landing at Nawabshah airport at about 2.57 am (IST) after the pilot noticed a hydraulic failure warning.

India sent an Air India Airbus A-320 to pick up the passengers from Nawabshah airport in Sindh.

Looking visibly relieved and happy to be back home, the passengers were all praise for the flight crew.

“The crew was very good and we were treated very nicely. I will surely be traveling with Air India again,” said 19-year-old Akshay Purohit.

For 60-year-old businessman Arvinder Singh, the flight crew was the only source of comfort in those tormenting hours.

“It was definitely a scary experience when we realized that the hydraulics had failed and we were making an emergency landing. We were told to hold on tight and be prepared for anything… It was traumatic,” he said.

“But once we landed, the marvelous crew ensured that we were comfortable. They were very brave,” he added.

Agreed another passenger, Shashi Chandiwala: “The crew was so good, we never realized how those tormenting hours, stranded in the flight flew by… I am happy to be home.”

–Indo-Asian news Service

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