At least 210 passengers travelling on board a Kolkata-bound SpiceJet flight from Mumbai on Sunday were held up at the Nagpur airport for almost eight hours after the flight made an emergency stopover at the state’s second capital owing to a sick passenger on board. Efforts to bail out stranded fliers led to 16 flight delays across its national network, the airline spokesperson said. “The passenger had suffered a heart attack. The patient along with some co-travellers, were offloaded at Nagpur and an ambulance was arranged for them,” said an airline spokesperson.
According to airline officials, the flight was stuck in Nagpur owing to the absence of ground support. The budget carrier, which does not ply to the city, did not have an aircraft maintenance engineer and other ground support mandatory for take-off.
The flight SG 487, which landed in Nagpur at 9:27pm, reached Kolkata at 7:10am on Monday.
“Our requests for technical assistance to other airlines stationed in Nagpur were declined. Our plan to reroute a Mumbai-Goa flight (SG612) to Nagpur with an AME on board also had to be shelved owing to disapproval of passengers to fly via Nagpur,” said the spokesperson.
Passengers on board the stranded flight, however, put up shocking pictures of fliers sitting on the tarmac on social media. “After a 9 hour delay #flightSG487 landed in Kolkata. Pathetic management,” tweeted Sara Singha, a passenger.
The budget carrier finally operated a ‘special flight’ from Goa to Nagpur, which reached the city early on Monday. “The flight carrying an engineer, trimmer and two security staff took off from Nagpur at 5:30am.”
Passengers also alleged they were forced to spend the night with little food. “Only a box of juice was provided on board the rescue flight,” read another tweet.