An Air India flight bound for Delhi from Bagdogra took off with a faulty air conditioning system, turning the plane into a hot chamber and with passengers complaining of suffocation and breathlessness through the journey. The flight, AI-880, had 168 passengers and took off at 1.50 pm on Sunday from Bagdogra airport and landed in Delhi 25 minutes prior to the scheduled time (of 4.05 pm) at 3.40 pm.
According to the reports, the Air India staff allegedly knew about the malfunctioning AC and had informed the passengers that the conditioning will start working once the flight will take off. The problem was, however, not resolved. In a video posted by news agency ANI, the passengers can be seen complaining and fanning themselves with papers and magazines. A few passengers also tried to put on the oxygen mask, however, the masks were reportedly not working.
The passengers complained about the non-functional AC and protested, Air India spokesperson informed PTI.
This is not the first time passengers aboard an Air India flight have been subjected to discomfort. Some of them have taken to Twitter to voice the problems they faced recently.
The government has decided to privatise Air India to offload the struggling debt-laden airline and turn a profit in the face of growing competition from low-cost rivals.
Niti Aayog vice chairman Arvind Panagariya said India should be privatised as its debt level is “simply not sustainable” and government action on the airline’s future course is likely within six months. The airline has a debt of more than Rs 52,000 crore and is surviving on a Rs 30,000-crore bailout package extended by the previous UPA government in 2012.