The strike called by a section of Air India employees unions ended on Wednesday evening but the plight of the passengers did not.
The operational backlog meant large numbers of flights were cancelled and many were delayed even on Thursday. Air India, however, has promised normal operations from Friday.
“Operations were grounded mainly because the engineers were on strike. Without maintenance and clearance by engineers, a large number of aircraft couldn’t be used,” said an airline official.
“The airline was not sure how many engineers will resume duty from Thursday and many planned cancellations were made to lessen the workload,” he said.
The scene at the domestic departure terminal 1A of Indira Gandhi International Airport remained chaotic on Thursday morning as many flights were cancelled.
“Many passengers were stranded at the airport in the scorching heat, including small children. The airline didn’t offer hotel accommodation to everyone and for those left stranded there was no food either,” said an airport official on condition of anonymity, as he is not authorised to talk to the media.
Long wait for Mumbai bound passengers
About 250 passengers of Air India’s Delhi-Mumbai flight AI-1315 had to wait for four hours inside the aircraft before it took off. The aircraft, which originally was scheduled between Jeddah and Mumbai, was diverted to Delhi airport.