About 220 passengers of a Chicago-bound Air India flight were forced to spend the New Year day in hotel rooms after the airline rescheduled their flight by 24 hours due to shortage of cabin crew.
Air India flight (AI-127) to Chicago was scheduled to take-off at 1:30 a m but was delayed as passengers from connecting flights was also to be accommodated but those flights arrived late at the IGI airport, sources said.
Due to this, the flight was delayed by several hours and in the meantime the duty hours of the flight crew also came to an end.
Since the national carrier is facing shortage of cabin crew and also many of them being on leave due to Christmas and New Year it did not have spare crew to replace them, they said.
Though the airline management asked them to continue with their work beyond their Flight Duty Time Limitation (FDTL) saying they would get the clearance from the Civil Aviation regulator, the crew refused to violate their FDTL.
Left with no option, the airline cancelled the flight and reschedule it.
"Due to delay in arriving flights and accommodating the passengers into the Chicago flight, the flight got delayed and flight duty time of the crew came was almost over so they refused to operate the flight. Due to this, we have to reschedule to the flight," an Air India official said.
The rescheduling of flight spoiled New Year plans for many as many spent their new year at the hotel rooms, provided by the airline.
part from it, it also caused concerns for many who had to join for their duty.
"My daughter had to join her job on Monday but airline is not giving any information when the flight would depart," said K V N Sharma, whose daughter was to board the flight last night.
"I have been asking the airline authorities but they are not giving us any correct information," he added.
When asked, the airline official said that the flight would depart tonight with a new number AI 127D.
Meanwhile, shallow fog enveloped the airport this morning but it did not affect flight operations.
"Fog descended on the airport around 7 am and low visibility procedures were implemented at 7:50 am. It lasted for 1 hour 40 minutes, during this period flights were operating using Category I instrument landing system," a DIAL spokesperson said.
A total of 24 domestic and international flights operated using CAT-I ILS and there were no cancellations or diversions, he added.