As many as 150 passengers of a Delhi-bound Air India flight were stranded at Pune airport for nearly eight hours after their flight was delayed, reportedly due to a technical glitch in the aircraft.
The Air India flight AI 854 from Pune to Delhi was scheduled to depart at 10.15 pm on Thursday and arrive at 12.25 am at Delhi airport. It was rescheduled four times and finally departed at 6.15 am on Friday. The passengers had to board and deboard the plane four times.
“The flight was rescheduled four times. There was a problem with an engine. The passengers were informed that the spare parts were coming from another airport,” said an airport official.
Many passengers, who had a connecting flight from Delhi to international destinations like New York, London and Frankfurt, missed their flights.
Bapusaheb Karande, a resident of Pune, said he had dropped off his daughter, who was taking the Air India flight, at the airport at 6 pm. “When I dropped my daughter off, the flight was already delayed by two hours. At 9 pm, I called her and go to know that the flight was delayed for four hours. Several of her co-passengers had connecting flights to the USA, UK and Europe. These included students, tourists and others,” he said.
Another passenger, Achutya Ghosh, posted on Twitter, “The flight that was scheduled to land at 12.25 am landed at 8.15 am. Apparently, the aircraft developed a technical snag. What was appalling though was the treatment of passengers and the complete lack of crisis management on the part of AI and Pune airport.”
Air India spokesperson Dhananjay Kumar said, “There was a technical problem with the plane. The problem was related to an oil filter. The flight took off on Friday morning.”