Nearly 90 minutes after boarding a Jet Airways flight bound to Ahmedabad from Mumbai on Tuesday, passengers were told that the flight was cancelled. The flight time between the two cities is just about 60 minutes.
Fliers were ostensibly more irked because the airline blamed the temporary closure of the Ahmedabad airstrip for the last-minute cancellation. “I can understand if a flight is cancelled owing to a technical snag. But an airline should not lie to people,” said Vijay V, a passenger.
A Jet Airways spokesperson said that the delay was primarily caused by a snag. “Jet Airways flight 9W 327 from Mumbai to Ahmedabad did a ground return at Mumbai owing to technical reasons, and the aircraft is currently being inspected by the airline’s Jet Airways engineering team. Moreover, because of the runway closure at Ahmedabad, both Jet Airways flights 9W 327/328 Mumbai – Ahmedabad - Mumbai were not operated,” said a Jet Airways spokesperson, adding that the airline was making arrangements to accommodate the guests on alternate carriers and reroute guests via alternate points to/from Mumbai/Ahmedabad.
According to passengers, boarding the 8.45am flight was completed by 7.20am. Soon, the aircraft started taxiing towards the runway but did not take off for about 20 minutes.
Then the airline crew allegedly said that the aircraft would head back to its parking bay citing some engineering glitch. More than an hour later, the crew announced that the flight was cancelled owing to closure of the Ahmedabad runway.
Another set of passengers booked to travel to Mumbai on board the same aircraft were also held up in Ahmedabad, said airport officials.