Flight delay: Aviation Minister calls up AI chairman, three suspendedLast updated on Dec 14, 2017, 12:31 pm
Passengers of a Delhi-Vijayawada Air India flight yesterday had to sit inside the plane for 1.5 hours waiting for take-off.
Unfortunately for the airline, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju was one of them.
Raju then called up Air India Chairman Pradeep Singh Kharola to enquire. Soon after, three employees were suspended and the pilot given a warning.
Here's what happened.
Flight AI-459 from Delhi to Vijayawada was scheduled to depart at 6am, but the operation wing decided to wait for better visibility.
However, the development was apparently not communicated to the ground staff, who started the boarding process as scheduled.
Incidentally, the pilot had a problem with his airport pass and was halted at the security check for long. He was finally 15 minutes late.
Air India takes action after Raju calls up MD
Angry passengers demanded an explanation from Raju, who in turn called up Kharola to ask why the flight had been delayed. Air India took immediate action and suspended three staffers as well as sent a warning letter to the pilot.
Incident came two days after Kharola took charge
This happened just two days after Kharola took charge as the new Air India MD even as the government finalizes modalities of the debt-ridden carrier's disinvestment.
Kharola is known for turning around the once-struggling Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation into a profitable venture.
India's first AC buses were introduced during his tenure.
He also boosted the start of the Bengaluru Metro project.