MANGALURU: Air India Express (AIE) passengers to Abu Dhabi spent close to 12 harrowing hours at the Mangaluru International Airport (MIA) after their flight was grounded following a technical glitch on Sunday night. Passengers complained that neither did the AIE officials make any alternate arrangements nor did they provide hotel stay, forcing them to spend the entire night inside the airport. If the time of reporting is taken into account, the passengers spent nearly 12 hours at the airport. AIE officials aware of the matter said, “A technical glitch was noticed in the aircraft which was to fly to Abu Dhabi at 8.40pm on Sunday. The engineers, after inspection, declared AOG (Aircraft on Ground) at 12am as the fault could not be rectified without spares. At that time, nothing much could be done as going back to the city for hotel accommodation for 112 passengers and returning within two hours for their onward flight at 6.30am would have been fruitless exercise. We provided them with meals at the airport itself.” The passengers were accommodated in the Dubai-Mangaluru flight that landed at MIA at 4.30 am on Monday and it took off at 6.30am. Meanwhile, the 160 passengers of the 9.10 am Dubai – Mangaluru were informed of the delay and they arrived as per the revised schedule. The Mangaluru-Dubai flight left at 2.30pm after the spares arrived from Mumbai. A source said, in case of a technical glitch spares are not maintained at Mangaluru and it has to come from either from Mumbai or Thiruvananthapuram. This caused inconvenience to the passengers, the source said squarely blaming the engineering staff for notifying the crew handling officials four hours late which prevented them from making accommodation arrangement for the stranded passengers.
Source