Guwahati, Aug. 2: Air India authorities at Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International (LGBI) airport at Borjhar intitially cancelled a Guwahati-Delhi flight this evening saying the pilot was not fit to fly as his flying hours had exceeded the limit, leaving seven passengers in the lurch.
The flight finally took off around 11pm.
Sources at the airport said the AI- 2619 flight landed here from Delhi at 7.25pm and was supposed to take off for Delhi again at 7.55pm. But airline authorities delayed the flight for about an hour and the passengers were kept waiting, even after boarding passes had been issued and security checks completed.
Subsequently, the passengers were informed the flight had been cancelled, as the pilot was tired and not willing to take the flight back to Delhi.
“This is ridiculous. How can they cancel a flight citing such reasons? If the flying hours of the pilot have been exceeded, why could they not arrange for a new pilot? The passengers have been left in the lurch as they have urgent work tomorrow morning,” Sharad Gupta, executive editor of a Delhi-based newspaper and a passenger on the flight, told The Telegraph.
Among the seven passengers was Rajya Sabha MP and BJP spokesperson Tarun Vijay, who had boarded the flight for Delhi after visiting riot-hit areas in BTAD.
“Tarun Vijay has to attend a parliamentary standing committee meeting and one of the passengers has to board a flight for Kathmandu tomorrow,” Gupta said.
“The pilots finally agreed to fly the plane but personnel manning the Air Traffic Control had gone home by then,” Gupta added.
The ground staff was finally brought back.