A rat delayed a London-bound Air India flight from the Rajasansi airport here Saturday morning.
Flight AI-187, which was scheduled to depart at 6.30 a.m. Saturday, had not left the airport even three hours later. There were 238 passengers on the flight.
"A rat entered the aircraft and the staff was searching for it. The flight has been delayed. Air India is getting a new aircraft to take the passengers to London," airport director Chinson Panakal told IANS.
Airport officials said some passengers noticed the rat in the plane and informed the staff. The passengers were taken off the plane and were waiting at the airport for Air India to make alternate arrangements.
Some of the passengers said they were being unnecessarily harassed due to negligence of the airline staff.
Passengers, especially those with children and old people, said they were being made to suffer due to inadequate arrangements.
The nearly 10-hour flight is likely to get delayed by 7-8 hours, an Air India official said.
"We are trying to make arrangements to take the passengers to London. The flight can now leave by 2 p.m. only after a new aircraft arrives," Air India manager Ashwini Kumar Arora told IANS.
"It is not only the question of finding the rat. The aircraft (in which the rat was seen) will have to undergo all security checks under the DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) guidelines. That will take a long time," Arora added.