By: Vinod Nair
MUSCAT: A technical problem has left an Air India aircraft flight (AI986) stranded at Muscat airport since Sunday night. The flight was supposed to return to Mumbai at 12.05 am on Monday but had not left and under maintenance till late evening. Passengers travelling by the airline had horrid time with little or inadequate information provided at the airport. Speaking to the Observer, B P Kulkarni, country head, Air India, Muscat, said, “The fault is being rectified and may leave late night subject to all clearances.”
Kulkarni added, “We tried to accommodate some passengers in other airlines like Oman Air and Jet Airways, depending on the availability of seats. Some of them have been also accommodated in hotels. We are expecting the engineers to arrive from Mumbai to resolve the problem.”
Kulkarni said the incoming flight (AI986) scheduled for departure on Tuesday night will leave on time at the moment.
When asked that this flight AI986 has been regularly getting delayed, Kulkarni said that there is shortage of aircraft and we are closely working with the authorities in New Delhi to resolve the problem. Things may get better in the next two months.
A ground official at Muscat Airport said that a delay of an hour or two is routine with this flight even otherwise.
Meanwhile, Rosie Gabrielle, a stranded Goa-bound passenger said, “I slept on a cold floor in the airport all night, it’s 5 am, all the Air India staff have gone home. There is no one here to tell us how we can get to India. Or when the next flight is or how long we will have to wait.”
She was finally arranged a seat on an Oman Air flight to Mumbai but her luggage was left behind.
Her baggage was however left behind and would be dispatched in the subsequent Air India flight on Tuesday morning, it was informed.
It was reported that a number of passengers included workers who were going on exit had cancelled their visas.
These passengers were not allowed to be accommodated even in hotels.
SOURCE: OMAN DAILY OBSERVER