While a technical snag and duty time restrictions on cabin crew grounded AI-191 Mumbai-Newark flight yesterday, the Mumbai-London flight (AI-131) was delayed by nearly three hours due to the mock drill at the airport. When contacted, Air India admitted to the delays and claimed that passengers had been taken care of.
"Yes, we had to cancel the AI-191 Mumbai-Newark flight with 191 passengers due to a technical snag yesterday. When the snag was rectified, the FDTL (flight duty time limit) of the cabin crew came into being and thus had to cancel the flight," Air India said in a statement.
The airline further said out of the 191 passengers, 44 were provided hotel accommodation and the rest who came from Mumbai were given taxi fares. All of them were accommodated on today's flight at 0130 hours which had full load of 303 passengers.
The passengers who came from Ahmedabad were sent to Delhi for the JFK flight which departed at 0200 hrs today from the national capital, the airline said. As regards the delay of AI-131 Mumbai-London flight, the airline blamed it on the mock drill at the airport.
"Though the flight was ready for departure at 1400 hrs yesterday, it was delayed to 1620 hrs due to a mock drill by MIAL which lasted till 1530 hrs," AI said. In the past few weeks, AI had been facing severe delays, so much so that the aviation ministry had to issue instructions to the national airline to improve its on-time performance.