NEW DELHI: National carrier Air India had to delay the departure of its Newark flight from Mumbai by nearly an hour after it was reported that the principal secretary to Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had not carried his passport with valid visa.
When contacted, an Air India spokesperson said that the flight in which Fadnavis was to travel was delayed by 57 minutes for a mix of reasons.
"The flight was delayed by 57 minutes and that too because of operational, technical reasons. Besides, some delay also occurred on account of the ATC," the spokesperson claimed. Chief minister Fadnavis also denied the incident and issued a clarification on Twitter.
The incident took place on Monday when Fadnavis was leaving on a week-long visit to the US along with his industries minister Subhash Desai, chief secratary Swadheen Kshatriya and principal secretary Pravin Pardeshi besides other delegation members.
According to sources, Pardeshi was cleared at the check-in but was held back before boarding as the passport he was carrying did not have the valid US visa.
Sources said that Pardeshi had got a valid US visa in his old passport but this was not reflected in the new one which he was carrying. He quickly arranged to bring his old passport which had valid US visa stamp after which he was allowed to proceed to the aircraft, they said.