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AI flight with Aviation Minister on board delayed, three suspended

The pilots had reported late for the duty

Aviation News, Nation (New Delhi), December 14:-Three staff members were suspended and a warning letter was issued to the pilot of Air India Airlines after they reached late for their duty and delayed a flight by one-and-half hours with over 100 passengers on board, including Minister of Civil Aviation P Ashok Gajapathi Raju, who faced the heat of the agitated passengers.

The incident came to light on Wednesday when the Air India flight from Delhi to Vijaywada was late by around 1.30 hours.

“The flight was scheduled at 6 am from Delhi but after getting delayed for around 1.30 hrs it finally took off for Vijaywada. Air India took action against the three staffers who have been suspended and a warning letter has been issued to the captain for reaching the airport late,” Air India Spokesperson GP Rao said while confirming the incident.

The flight was to take off at 6 am but the airline’s operation wing reportedly decided to wait for better visibility. This was apparently not communicated to the ground staff, who started boarding as scheduled.

According to the Air India sources, the pilots had reported late for the duty leaving the waiting passengers furious.

The flight was delayed even more when the pilot was reportedly stopped at the security check over a problem with his airport pass. Only the co-pilot could reach the plane on time.

Reports say the pilot finally reached around 15 minutes late.

The passengers then reached co-passenger Aviation Minister Raju, who was sitting in the business class section and was on his way to Vijaywada, asking him about the delay.

Raju immediately contacted the airlines security and asked the newly appointed Air India Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) Pradeep Singh Kharola the reason behind the delay, after which appropriate actions were taken.

-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)

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