About a thousand Air India passengers booked on flights to Delhi, Ahmedabad and Goa were stranded at Mumbai airport for hours after their flights were delayed on Monday evening.
With festive season travel still on, all flights were fully booked. To cater to the crowd and to combine certain flights, since October 26, the airline has been deploying wide-bodied aircraft like the 330-seater Boeing 777s instead of the 180-seater A320, reports Times of India.
An Air India flight to Delhi, which was to depart at 7pm, left around 10.15pm, another to Ahmedabad, also operated with a Boeing 777, took off around 9pm, over an hour-and-a-half late. The flight to Goa was more than two hours late. “The Delhi flight had many passengers who had connecting flights to Hong Kong and Singapore. The airline was trying to accommodate them on other flights but most did not make it,” said a media professional, a passenger on board AI’s Mumbai-Delhi delayed flight.
An Air India spokesperson attributed the delays to various factors. “When a flight gets delayed due to an engineering problem or other issues, the schedule gets disrupted. The aircraft arrives late to operate other flights too.”
But airline sources pointed to the simmering tension between the management and its flight attendants.