India flight faces another delay in Doha
Manama, June 27, 2012
More than 150 passengers who were stranded in Bahrain for nearly two days after an Air India Express flight developed a technical snag faced another hiccup in Doha yesterday (June 26) as their flight was delayed for eight hours.
Air India Express flight IX4744 departed Bahrain for Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala at 7.50am yesterday after its passengers were stuck in the country for 36 hours.
However, it faced another delay during a stopover in Doha when a warning went off in the plane's fire alarm system.
"This is a very unfortunate incident which happens once in many years," said airline country manager for Bahrain and Jordan Rajneesh Bagga.
"We would like to apologise to our passengers, who are affected because of this technical error, which is a warning in the fire alarm system. It could have been a false alarm but we don't want to take a risk - it's a very odd situation. We called a technical team from Mumbai to fix the problem and it was fixed in Bahrain.
"But it showed the same problem after the aircraft landed in Doha, Qatar. Our team is trying to fix it and our flight from Mumbai, which arrived in the morning, went to Doha. It will take the passengers to their destinations, Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi, and then go to Mumbai."
Bagga later confirmed passengers left Doha at 4pm yesterday. "Our flight that arrived from Mumbai went to Doha and took all the passengers from there, who reached India at 8.30pm," he said.
The same flight was initially due to depart Bahrain at 6.45pm on Sunday, but a technical problem caused it to be cancelled and the service was rescheduled for yesterday.
Passengers were put up at the Gulf Gate Hotel, Manama, all expenses paid. They were also reportedly promised a free ticket on another airline travelling to India should there be any more delays.
However, Bahrain resident Joy George, whose wife Sumy and four-year-old son Aron were on the flight, said the airline did not arrange food or refreshments for the passengers.
"When they landed in Doha, passengers refused to get out of the plane, but were forced by the staff to get down," he claimed.
"Then they were at the airport for hours without food or water and had to buy from their own pockets. We do understand, technical errors can take place, but the airline should take the responsibility to care for their customers and not just leave them without food."
Meanwhile, 63 passengers going to Mumbai from Bahrain with Air India Express were stranded in Bahrain yesterday.
They were supposed to go on the 1.30pm flight to Doha and then to Mumbai, but the aircraft was sent to Doha to take stranded passengers to Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi, said Bagga.
"The engineers are in Doha and fixing the problem," he added. "The plane would come to Bahrain today and the passengers are expected to fly home if everything goes okay." – TradeArabia News Service