Over 140 passengers on-board Air India’s (AI) Delhi-London flight had a harrowing time on Thursday as the aircraft — a Boeing 787 Dreamliner — took off from the Indira Gandhi International Airport only to return three hours later due to a technical problem.
AI flight 115 took off from the Delhi airport at around 7.34 am. Sources said that around an hour after the take off, passengers complained of suffocation as the aircraft’s air-conditioning system wasn’t working. “As around eight hours of flying was still left it was decided to turn back the plane,” a source said.
The flight landed at Delhi airport at around 10.55 am. “The aircraft was brought back as there was an overheating of cabin. There were 18 business class and 125 economy class passengers on board,” an AI official said.
However, that wasn’t the end to the passenger’s ordeal. Once the flight landed in Delhi it was decided to shift the passengers to an alternate aircraft and operate the flight at 11:55 am. However, by that time the crew’s flight duty time limitation would have kicked-in and an alternate crew would have to be arranged.
“The passengers were finally transferred to AI flight 111, which departed at 1.30 pm,” the official said.
The 787 has been a source of constant trouble for AI.
Last week, the windshield of a 787 had cracked midway through a flight. Till June, 318 cases of delays had been reported due to technical snags in the Dreamliner.