In view of cabin crew getting stuck in traffic jams, triggering flight delays, Air India has advanced the reporting time of cabin crew by 90 minutes (before the departure of their respective flights) against the existing time of 30 minutes.
On Thursday, several flights, including that of railway minister Mamata Banerjee, was delayed as crew were stuck in jams.
“We have started dispatching pick-up cabs one hour in advance so that they will be able to report 90 minutes before takeoff. Since the traffic on NH-8 has suddenly increased, the possibility of crew getting late is more. To avoid inconvenience to flyers, we have asked crew members to report well in advance,” said an Air India spokesperson.
In a few occasions, crew, stuck in jams, reached the terminal after their duty hours.
“Because we are facing staff shortage, the crew cannot be replaced at the last moment. For instance, we have five departures around 5pm. If any of the crew members got late, the flight will be delayed,” added the spokesperson.
Till now, T3 was getting 20,000 passengers every day, as only international flights were operating from here. Air India shifting on Thursday added another 7,000 passengers. “The number of vehicles coming to the airport has also gone up. Since there is only one road leading to T3, the jams are natural,” said a traffic police official.
As the national carrier had started its operations from T3 on Thursday, the increased traffic load led to a huge traffic jam on NH-8.
On Thursday, jams on this road had slowed down traffic on other roads.
Passengers taking the Air India flights took nearly 30 minutes extra to reach the airport. The situation is likely to get worse from November 14 when Jet Airways and Kingfisher will start operations from the T3.