Passengers fume as Air India's jet fuel crisis spills over to Friday
Disruptions to Air India flights on Thursday evening owing to suspension of jet fuel supplies by state-owned oil companies continued to impact passengers till the early hours of Friday.
Passengers booked to travel to London at 2:50am were stuck at the city airport for at least six hours. Airline sources said that the flight could not take off on time because supplies were not restored.
"The crew faced passenger ire because the airline's call centres had not informed them about the delay. Since the problem had started from Thursday evening, the scheduling staff had enough time to alert passengers," said a cabin crew member, who did not wish to be named.
A Newark-bound flight from the city was also delayed, by around five hours. An AI spokesperson refused to comment on the matter.
Mumbai airport officials said that flight movement later in the day was as per schedule after the loss-making national carrier decided to clear some dues by Friday evening.
On Thursday evening, almost all AI flights in and out of Mumbai were delayed for hours. Naved Alam, a senior executive in a Bhopal-based firm was booked to travel on a Mumbai-bound AI flight at 7 pm on Thursday. However, after he reached Bhopal airport, the airline staff told him that the flight was indefinitely delayed. With few options available, Alam had to shell out a huge sum to buy a ticket on an alternative flight to the city. "Despite buying a discounted ticket in advance, I was forced to shell out a huge amount," said Alam.
All the three oil public sector undertaking (PSU) companies - Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum - had stopped the supplies because the airline failed to make payments even after the 90-day credit period. The loss- making national carrier owes Rs 4,200 crore to the oil PSUs.