At least five Air India flights were delayed by several hours at the Indira Gandhi International airport in Delhi on Sunday due to technical problems, causing hardships to about a thousand passengers.
While the Amritsar-Delhi-Birmingham-Toronto (AI 1872) departed after about 12 hours, another flight to Jeddah and Muscat and another to Bangkok and Shanghai were delayed by four to five hours, airport sources said.
• AI has 1,400 pilots for 120 planes. Many are on leave. It is adding another 100 planes, but says there aren’t enough pilots in the market.
• Technical snags have been common planes have made repeated emergency landings due to faulty landing gear and other problems. Even new planes apparently have technical problems.
An Air India spokesperson said that another flight (AI 111) to London and New York will be leaving shortly after the crew was requested to extend their 'flight duty time limitation' and operate the aircraft.
The flight to Dubai is also likely to leave in another two hours.
Earlier, peeved over the long delay, the passengers protested at the airport and demanded explanations from the authorities.
However, no senior Air India official was present at the airport to pacify the agitating passengers.