In another harrowing experience for Air India passengers,a Kochi bound flight from Bahrain took nearly 20 hours to reach its destination following technical snags and bad weather,prompting some of them to disembark here and stage a protest.
Air India Express passengers protested at the parking bay when the flight flew in here without touching down at Kozhikode. Forty seven of them disembarked,while 119 were bound for Kozhikode.
The passengers landed at Kozhikode by around 2 PM.
Air India sources said the Bahrain-Doha-Kozhikode-Kochi flight developed a technical snag at Doha which was sorted out. On its way to Kozhikode,another snag cropped up and an alarm sounded in the cockpit,following which it was diverted to Mumbai.
The flight was grounded in Mumbai and 163 passengers were put on another flight to Kozhikode. But due to poor visiblity,it could not land there and came to Kochi,the sources said.
One of the passengers Naufal said that since last night,AIE had served a can of water and a small piece of plum cake. “This was the same for breakfast at Kochi and lunch’.
Some passengers had bought chocolates from duty free shops at Bahrain and Doha which they shared,he said.
Yesterday,a hijack alarm was triggered by the woman pilot in panic after agitated passengers of an Abu Dhabi-Kochi bound AI flight allegedly stormed the cockpit following which six people were detained for questioning and later let off.
Airport Director A K C Nair today said the passengers protested for a while at the parking bay and demanded to meet Air India Express officials.
He said they had embarked on their journey from Bahrain about two hours behind the scheduled time of 6.30 PM (IST) last night. At Doha,there was a delay of over three hours and they were told there was some technical problem,following which the flight was taken to Mumbai. The passengers were then shifted to another flight and brought to Kochi at 9 AM this morning.
After a delay of over three hours and change of cabin crew,the passengers were taken to Kozhikode by 1245 PM,he said.
Another passenger Ismail said there were four pregnant women,children and a man in wheelchair in the flight.
Three other flights from Jeddah,Dubai and Sharjah bound for Kozhikode,were also diverted here this morning following bad weather. They later landed at Kozhikode.