Saturday, December 08, 2018

Flight skips Hyderabad touchdown due to bad weather, voters on-board miss franchise

Hyderabad: Massive chaos unfolded at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport on Friday morning after an Air India flight, AI 966, from Jeddah skipped its halt at the city’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) and headed straight for its final destination, Mumbai.

While airline authorities attributed this to poor weather conditions in Hyderabad, it failed to pacify fliers — many of whom were travelling to the city to cast their vote in Telangana assembly elections. In fact, in a video that went viral on social media, several passengers are seen engaging in a heated argument with the airline crew demanding an explanation for being de-planed at Mumbai airport. They are also repeatedly heard complaining about missing the polls.

“AI 966 Jeddah to Hyderabad landed in Mumbai instead of arriving at Hyderabad at 7:10am on December 7. Most passengers wanted to cast their vote in Telangana. Air India authorities said due to bad weather flight landed in Mumbai but same time Saudi Airline flight arrived in Hyderabad from Jeddah,” tweeted Shahbaz Ahmed Khan, a social activist, seeking justice for passengers who couldn’t vote due to the chaos. Another passenger questioned why the initial decision to land the aircraft in Hyderabad was revised later. “Why was the decision changed?,” the passenger is heard asking the airline staff in the video, with several others screaming in the background insisting that the crew arrange for the earliest flight to Hyderabad.
08/12/18 Preeti Biswas & Sudipta Sengupta/Times of India