Over 300 passengers staged angry protests at the departure lounge of the Mumbai International Airport on Friday night when Air India flight AI-965 Mumbai-Hyderabad-Jeddah was delayed by more than 10 hours, and rescheduled to leave at 1:30 am.
The AI 965 Mumbai-Hyderabad was scheduled to leave Mumbai at 3 pm, and reach Hyderabad by 4.25 pm and leave Hyderabad at 5.55 pm and reach Jeddah by 9.15 pm.
One of the passengers said there was a large group of pilgrims travelling to Jeddah and had no option but to squat and sleep on the floor. “What’s appalling is that the airline is not giving us any information or any assistance. They have simply displayed that AI-865 has been rescheduled to leave at 10 pm” he said.
However, a spokesperson for Air India said earlier in the evening, “There is a consequential delay. The plane which was to arrive from Amritsar got delayed, and it was to go to Delhi and then reach Mumbai with other passengers to Jeddah. We run 747 services to Jeddah, and we have now rescheduled it to depart at 10 pm.”
At around 1 am, the passenger confirmed that the flight had not yet left. It had been rescheduled for 1:30 am but the boarding process for the flight had not yet begun.
Arif, another angry passenger who was part of the group of pilgrims, said “There are at least 20-25 passengers on wheelchairs here, and nobody’s come here to ask if they need food or water. They are telling us since 3 pm that the flight is delayed due to some technical issue, but does it take so long to resolve an engineering problem in their plane?”
Angry passengers also staged a protest around 9:40 pm shouting “Air India Murdabad.” and arguing with the Air India managers.
Meanwhile, Mumbai International Airport ranked top of the list among 10 airports reporting worst delays, with more than 110 or 23 per cent of all flights delayed on Thursday night, according to data from flightradar24.com, a global real-time air traffic monitoring website. The airport was reporting a 26-minute delay in arrival, and a 61-minute delay in departures as of 10 pm.
Source Credit: Mumbai Mirror