Several international flights were cancelled after 160 Air India pilots did not turn up for work on Monday night, sending the beleaguered national carrier into a tizzy.
The airlines’ domestic operations, however, remained unaffected. At New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, six international flights were cancelled late on Monday.
Operations stabilised by Tuesday morning as Air India made arrangements to operate all international flights, including those cancelled through Monday night. However, most flights were delayed.
Many passengers whose international flights were scheduled for Tuesday night arrived at the airport in the afternoon itself to find out the status of their flights.
Flights from Mumbai were disrupted too with four long-haul international flights — one each to Hong Kong, Newark, New York and Jeddah — cancelled on Tuesday. An arriving flight from Newark was also cancelled. The last-minute cancellations triggered panic among passengers.
“There is nobody from the airline offering any assistance,” said Masood Khan, a Mumbai-based businessman, whose family was among the 95 passengers booked to travel to Jeddah.
Airport officials said passengers bound to Newark and Hong Kong were accommodated in hotels. Till evening, there was no update on the status of the flights.
In Kerala, the Thiruvana-nthapuram-Muscat, the Thiruvananthapuram-Abu Dhabi-Dubai, Kozhikode-Sharjah-Muscat, Kozhikode-Mangalore-Kuwait and the Kozhikode-Riyadh flights were cancelled.
(With agency inputs)