Monday, January 16, 2023

Air France flight from Bengaluru to Paris makes emergency landing at Vienna, flyers stranded

Bengaluru: Over 100 flyers on board an Air France flight from Bengaluru to Paris on Sunday morning, had to make an emergency landing at Vienna in Austria, due to a technical glitch. Most of the passengers on board the AF203 are on the way to US or Canada, and opted to fly via Paris. 

They are now stranded at Vienna airport for over ten hours (as of 9.30pm IST) without food, water or information from Air France, they said. They could be sent to Paris soon.  Their travel appears to be jinxed. They were to take a Vistara flight (UK-866) from Bengaluru to Mumbai at 9.40pm Saturday, and switch to an Air France flight to Paris. Hari Krishnan, an IT product manager in Bengaluru, whose brother’s family is on board the flight, told TNIE, “They were given the option to directly board an Air France flight from Bengaluru to Paris (AF 203). Unfortunately, now they are stranded and in bad shape in Austria,” he said. 

He has been reaching out to the Ministry of External Affairs, Air France, and Directorate General of Civil Aviation, requesting for help. His brother Prabhu Seeba and sister-in-law Priti Kustagi are struggling to manage their 10-month-old girl and 6-year-old boy. Kustagi, a project manager in Dallas, said, “Our flight departed at 2.15am Sunday from KIA, and we would have reached Paris in 1.5 hrs, when the Captain made an announcement that due to a technical glitch, an emergency landing was being made at Vienna.” 

On reaching the airport, the passengers were asked to remain seated and engineers came on board to set right the issue.  “After 90 minutes, we were told to deplane and then taken to the terminal,” she said. “There was no information from anyone at Air France or any support forthcoming,” she charged. Inside the terminal, the passengers had an issue with immigration staff as they did not have a Schengen visa. 

"We have not been given food, water or information. I am terribly worried as baby food for my infant is running out,” Kustagi added.

16/01/23 S Lalitha/New Indian Express

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