Saturday, October 28, 2006

Praful dumps delayed A-I flight

London/New Delhi: Air-India has yet another angry customer - the civil aviation minister. Praful Patel was scheduled to fly the national carrier from London to Mumbai on Thursday night, when a delayed take-off -- reportedly caused by the late arrival of the flight's crew -- made him change his plans. He flew back on Jet Airways instead.
On a private visit to London, Patel was to fly back to Mumbai on Air-India. On arrival at Heathrow Airport, the minister discovered that the crew had also only just arrived.
The crew, said sources, was late by well over an hour, resulting in a 30 minute delay in take-off. Patel switched to Jet Airways, which also had a scheduled departure at the same time, 9.30 pm, and landed in Mumbai on schedule.
"I have enough choices," Patel told HT on Saturday. "But what about the average traveller who relies on Air-India and cannot switch flights at a moment's notice?" Patel added that his ministry would be launching an inquiry into this 'negligence'.
27/10/06 Vijay Dutt and Nandini R Iyer