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AI flight snag forces city-bound passengers to wait at Singapore airport for a day

The flight, AI 343, was to take off at 7.15pm as per Singapore local time (more than two hours ahead of IST) on Sunday, but was rescheduled to 10.45pm, and finally took off around 5.45pm on Monday.

mumbai Updated: Oct 23, 2017 19:34 IST
Neha LM Tripathi
Neha LM Tripathi
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Air India,Singapore
The flight, AI 343, was to take off at 7.15pm as per Singapore local time (more than two hours ahead of IST) on Sunday, but was rescheduled to 10.45pm, and finally took off around 5.45pm on Monday.(FILE)

A technical snag on an Air India (AI) flight left Mumbai-bound passengers stranded at Singapore for almost a day.

The flight, AI 343, was to take off at 7.15pm as per Singapore local time (more than two hours ahead of IST) on Sunday, but was rescheduled to 10.45pm, and finally took off around 5.45pm on Monday.

An AI spokesman said technical issues were responsible for the delay. “The aircraft was to fly from Chennai to Singapore. It was being repaired after some engineering issues were detected. It however had to be grounded at the last minute, owing to which the aircraft did not reach Singapore and the flight was cancelled. Passengers were provided hotel accommodation. Apart from a few passengers who chose to fly on Sunday, all others were accommodated on the same flight on Monday,” said the spokesman.

Passengers alleged the airline didn’t tell them that the flight was cancelled till almost four hours after the scheduled departure time.

Pranali Sahasrabudhe, an architect from Mumbai, who was on her first solo trip to Singapore, said, “We were first told our flight was delayed for three hours and would depart around 10.45pm. It was then extended to 11.45pm, after which they gave us food. It was only after dinner that we got to know that the flight was cancelled.”

Passengers were put up in a hotel at night. “The situation would have been handled better, if the officials had kept us in the loop. Puzzled, some families then flew by a private airline,” said another passenger.

Of the 200 passengers, 20 took another flight at night. “The airline staff couldn’t confirm if the flight would take off even on Monday. When I asked an official, he said there were no flights till 4.30pm and the only direct flight was already full,” said Sahasrabudhe.

First Published: Oct 23, 2017 19:34 IST