MUMBAI: Around 130-odd fliers of the Delhi-bound China Southern Airlines fliers were stuck for 32 hours, as the flight had to make an emergency stopover at Mumbai owing to the rain in Delhi.
The flight took of f f rom Guangzhou on Monday evening and stopped at Mumbai on Tuesday night. “The airline was supposed to submit a set of documents, including the passenger manifesto, with the immigration department at T2. But when the passengers reached the airport on Tuesday night, they realised it has not been done,” said an airport official requesting anonymity.
The flight missed its revised departure time on Tuesday night, sparking off a passenger agitation at the airport. According to passengers, the airline management allegedly failed to complete the necessary immigration procedures leaving them stuck inside the terminal for hours. Riled by the marathon wait, passengers began shouting slogans against the airline. “I had travelled for 16 hours from San Francisco before getting on to this flight. But my wait to get home doesn’t seem to end,” said an elderly passenger. Another flier accused the airline management of being incommunicado from the time the flight got diverted to Mumbai.
“We got a call from the terminal manager around 10.30 pm, as no airline representative was in place to talk to the passengers. The situation was under control,” said a senior Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) official, requesting anonymity.
Chengming Yan, station manager with China Southern Airlines in India, said the airline would share its version about the delay but did not respond to HT’s calls and emails till the time of going to press.
According to airport sources, the crew was forced to suspend its journey following the forced diversion to Mumbai on Monday as their permitted flight duty shifts had expired. “Our passports are with the airline staff and there are no updates on the flight,” said another passenger.