TIRUCHY: A total of 157 passengers bound for Dubai by an Air India Express flight were made to wait for 18 hours as the flight in which they were to take up the journey was grounded owing to a technical snag.
What’s worse, a spare aircraft brought in from Mumbai also met the same fate, sparking anger among the harried passengers. Their ordeal came to end only at around 8 am on Monday when they could finally catch a flight to their destination. The passengers were, however, put up at a private hotel near the airport.
According to the officials from Air India Express, all the 157 passengers who boarded the 186 seater 737-800 Boeing aircraft were asked to alight after a snag was detected in the aircraft. The flight’s scheduled departure was at 2.45 pm on Sunday after a stopover of 1.05 hours in Tiruchy.
Since the technical team wasn’t able to set the aircraft right, a spare carrier from Mumbai was brought in at 10 pm. The passengers who were by then put up in a hotel were brought to the airport only for the pilot to detect another snag in the spare aircraft too. All the passengers were again made to alight and were sent back to the same hotel, said a technical staff from the airport, on condition of anonymity.
After the snag with the spare flight which was brought in from Mumbai was rectified, the passengers were accommodated in it and it took off from here at 8 am on Monday, they further said.
When contacted, Air India Express Manager (Operational) Bashyam, said, six passengers had cancelled their trip, the remaining passengers including some foreign travellers departed from here.
Sources from the airport said, the foreign travellers were upset with the hospitality accorded by the authorities of the service provider. Thanfully, another flight for Dubai left at its scheduled time at 2.45 pm on Monday. Air India Express presently operates daily flights from Tiruchy to Singapore, Dubai and Chennai.