At least 200 passengers flying to the United States were forced to stay back in the city for two days after a Continental Airlines aircraft developed a technical snag on Friday evening. The problem was corrected only by 6 pm on Sunday,after which passengers were flown out.
The group of passengers who were stuck in the Capital included a team of at least eight students from the city who were on their way to the NASA Kennedy Space Centre,Florida,for a conference.
Continental Airlines flight CO83 from Delhi to New York/Newark,scheduled to depart Delhi on May 20 with a total of 226 customers on board,was cancelled because of a problem relating to the fire suppression system in the cargo hold that required a replacement part to be flown in from Newark, a statement issued by the Continental Airlines said
One of the passengers told Newsline,On Friday night,we were supposed to fly to Newark. After checking in,we waited inside the aircraft for a good two hours,that too without the air conditioning. After that the crew said the flight was cancelled due to a technical snag.
The airline said while the affected component came in on Saturday,the aircraft developed another problem relating to its electrical load management system.
By the time this problem was resolved,the crew could no longer legally operate the flight and it was cancelled again. A total of 191 customers from the original flight were still in Delhi on Sunday. The aircraft finally departed from Delhi at 6 pm (on Sunday), the statement said.
They put us in the hotel in the city but refused to give us our baggage back, said Dr Y R Sharma,a doctor at AIIMS.
They told us that we will be adjusted in the main daily Continental flight that departs at 10.25 pm on Saturday. But only those passengers who were originally booked on the flight were taken. We had been waiting since Friday. We were told that we will have to come back again on Sunday, said a passenger.
According to the airlines statement,bad weather conditions in Delhi,diversions of other airlines and high passenger load added to the delay.