180 IndiGo passengers asked to deplane after pilot fails to turn up
Around 180 passengers were left stranded at Chandigarh International Airport as IndiGo cancelled its 7:55am flight to Delhi on Wednesday.
Passengers had already boarded the plane when they were asked to deplane after waiting for 45 minutes, citing some documentation error.
However, multiple sources that HT talked to confirmed that the flight had to be grounded because of the unavailability of a pilot.
Gundeep Chawla, 43, a businessman who had a connecting flight to Nagpur to attend a family function, was among the travellers who were told to deboard the flight and move to the waiting area.
“Around 9:30am, we got to know that the airline could not arrange a pilot. It was shocking,” he said.
Ankur Puri, 42, who had to further travel to Goa for vacation, said: “The airline staff kept us waiting for more than three hours, before they finally announced that the flight has been cancelled. We got our checked luggage back around 10:30am.”
Though, the airline refunded the booking amount to all passengers, they had to make their own arrangements to reach Delhi.
Meanwhile, the airlines and the airport offered multiple reasons for the cancellation.
While an IndiGo representative reportedly told passengers that the flying hours of pilots were over and some pilots were stuck in Delhi due to rains, Chandigarh International Airport Limited spokesperson Prince Dildar said: “The flight operator has cited some operational constraints.”
However, sources privy to the matter told HT that the pilot designated to fly to Delhi did not turn up.
Even after repeated attempts, Indigo manager Manish Kumar did not respond to calls and text messages.