Air India apologises after Indian table tennis team denied boarding on Delhi-Melbourne flight

Table tennis player Manika Batra had stated that the Indian contingent, comprising 17 players and officials of Indian table tennis team were denied boarding on the Melbourne-bound flight.

Published: 23rd July 2018 12:20 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd July 2018 11:09 PM   |  A+A-

The Air India logo is seen on the facade of its office building in Mumbai. (File | Reuters)

By Express News Service

The national carrier Air India has come out with an apology a day after it allegedly denied boarding to an Indian table tennis team.

On Sunday, Manika Batra, star table tennis star player, along with six other paddlers, were left stranded at the Indira Gandhi International Airport as they were not allowed to board a Melbourne-bound Air-India flight.

The issue was brought to the notice of authorities and reactions poured from various quarters. Air India later apologised to the players after facing criticism.

“This was a very unfortunate incident, we apologise to the players and we are arranging next available flights,” Air India said in a statement.

On Twitter, the airline company also informed, “The Indian #Tabletennisteam were booked for today’s Melbourne flight under different PNRs & some of them may have reported after all other passengers had checked in”

The contingent, including 17 players and officials, was travelling to Melbourne to participate at the ITTF World Tour Australian Open starting today in Melbourne. Table Tennis player Manika Batra took to Twitter, asking Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and PMO to look into the matter.

In a series of tweets, Manika Batra on Sunday said that only 10 team members were allowed boarding and the national carrier informed them that the flight was overbooked. "On reaching Air India counter we were told that the flight is overbooked and only 10 members of TT team can fly which left us in a shock. Seven of us are still unable to fly," Manika said.

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