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Rats plague Air India

The national carrier cancelled a flight from Kozhikode, 440 km north of Thiruvananthapuram, to Riyadh in Saudi Arabia after a rat was spotted on board.

india Updated: Oct 05, 2009 01:28 IST
HT Correspondent

After a strike by pilots and a mid-air scuffle in the cockpit comes rat trouble for Air India.

The national carrier cancelled a flight from Kozhikode, 440 km north of Thiruvananthapuram, to Riyadh in Saudi Arabia after a rat was spotted on board.

“An aircraft is coming from Mumbai. Once it is in, passengers will be sent tonight,” Air India Kozhikode Station Manager Yogesh Mundwa said.

“A rat is very dangerous. It can chew the wire on board and so we can’t take chances,” an Air India spokesperson said in Mumbai.

This is the second instance of a rat grounding an Air India flight in the last some days.

On September 26, the day the airline’s pilots went on mass casual leave in protest against salary cuts, a London-bound Air India flight from Amritsar was cancelled after a rat was found on the aircraft.

While these two rat finds may have genuine, in the 1990s the then Civil Aviation Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is Union health minister now, had to deal firmly with disgruntled employees to stop them from slipping in rats to disrupt flights.