Expat body in UAE threatens to take airline Indian to court

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Dubai, Oct 28 (UNI) The All India Airport Users Forum, UAE chapter, has threatened to take the airline Indian to court because of alleged frequent delays and cancellations.

As many as 55 flights were cancelled over the past year and many more were delayed for more than ten hours, it claimed, and called on the Indian government to let other low cost operators like Air Arabia fly to more routes in India.

Senior airline officials in the UAE yesterday declined comment and said their colleagues in India would be in a better position to do so, the Emirates Today reported.

An Indian official in Calicut admitted there had been some delays, but blamed them on the weather conditions. ''Obviously, the airline is not able to do much when weather conditions are not conducive to take-offs,''he said.

At present, only Indian--formerly Indian Airlines-- operates from the city in northern Kerala, which is home to a large number of expatriates working in the Gulf.

The forum's general-secretary, K M Basheer, claimed that many passengers were sent back after arriving at UAE airports as their visas had expired due to cancellation of flights from Calicut.

''Several others have lost their jobs because of cancellations and delays. Every week at least five flights are either delayed or cancelled. In the past two weeks alone there have been 20 such incidents. This is simply not acceptable.

''Legal action is the last resort to get compensation for the affected passengers. Many other airports have been given permission to allow operations by foreign airlines-- only Calicut is being overlooked. And the airline charges Gulf travellers a lot.

''A flight to Dubai takes three hours and 45 minutes whereas to London it is seven hours and 15 minutes. Yet the fare to London is just 100 dirham more.The service provided for Gulf travellers is much worse than that enjoyed by expatriates flying to the US and Europe,'' Basheer said.

UNI

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