Around 80 Mumbai-bound passengers scheduled to fly on Saturday evening were stranded at Kolkata’s Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport for more than 15 hours.
According to the passengers, flight AI 773 was scheduled to take off from Kolkata for Mumbai at 7.40pm on Saturday. A technical snag delayed it till 9.30pm, after which passengers boarded the aircraft. After a few minutes on the runway, the aircraft halted and the pilot announced that there was a snag and that the flight had to return to the parking bay. The passengers refused to deboard.
“We were not served water until we pleaded, and were served meals on board only at 12.30 am after a lot of protest,” said Vishal P Dedhia, one of the passengers. At 1 am, passengers were taken to hotels and were informed that the flight to Mumbai would take off at 10.30 am on Sunday.
An Air India spokesperson said: “There was an engineering snag on pushback and the flight had to return. Passengers were given dinner on board but as repair was not possible, the flight was grounded and hotel arrangements were made.”