PUNE: In all, 186 people, including passengers and the cabin crew of the Delhi-bound Air Asia Flight I5 732, on Sunday evening were forced to wait inside the aircraft for 45 minutes. The flight was on the runway and ready to take off when suddenly, the pilot located a technical problem. The flight returned to the parking bay. The flight was cancelled after hours of a long wait by the passengers. The passengers were told that the problem would be resolved. So, they had to wait inside the aircraft.
According to sources at the airport, the Air Asia flight was supposed to take off at 6.15 pm. The passengers were already on board. “When the aircraft was on the runway to take off, it suddenly halted. The pilot took the aircraft to the parking bay. The technical team of the airline tried to resolve it but in vain. After a few minutes, the passengers were told to deboard. Four hours later, the flight was cancelled.”
Manasi Gera, a Puneite was travelling to Delhi for a health check-up at the AIIMS, told Sakal Times, “We were on a flight and the aircraft was on the runway. The flight stopped on the runway for 5-10 minutes. Later, it returned to the bay. We were told that there was a technical problem, which would be resolved within 15 minutes. However, the problem was not solved. We were told to deboard and had to wait. We waited for four hours. Then they cancelled the flight.” “If the problem was not resolved till one hour, they should have told us at that time. I had an appointment with a doctor at AIIMS, and everybody knows that making an appointment in AIIMS is difficult. I and my husband was going to Delhi, we asked them to arrange seats on an alternate flight, but they couldn’t. There were many passengers who have to reach on time,” she said.
However, a spokesperson of Air Asia said, “Air Asia India confirms that one of its aircraft was grounded as a precautionary measure at Pune.” “Affected guests were offered either complete refund or accommodated in other airlines. A few chose to extend their stay and opted to continue travelling with us and were provided accommodation at Pune. We, at Air Asia, deeply regret the inconvenience caused on this account. However, the safety of the guests is our utmost priority. We appreciate the guests, who cooperated to assist us in handling the situation,” said the spokesperson.