Air India Express flight departs after 15-hour delay in Dubai
Airline officials said emergency passengers were given seats on other Air India Express flights earlier in the day.
An Air India Express flight (IX814) scheduled to depart from Dubai Airport Terminal 2 to Mangalore, India has been delayed by nearly 12 hours, said agitated passengers. Officials confirmed, after a 15-hour delay, the flight finally departed from Dubai Airport at 2:10 pm on Sunday afternoon.
The flight to Mangalore was scheduled to depart at 11:40 pm on Saturday, however, passengers were stranded at the airport till 4:00 am Sunday morning. Most passengers were families, and some were travelling on emergencies. The passengers returned to the airport at 11:00 am on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Air India Express has cited technical difficulties for the unexpected delays. AIE has assured passengers that the flight will take off by Sunday 1:00 pm. The passengers have been requested to check-in again at 11:00 am on Sunday. Airline officials said emergency passengers were given seats on other Air India Express flights earlier in the day.
Ayaz Syed, a Dubai resident told Khaleej Times, "We completed the check-in by 9.30 pm. After waiting until 1:00 am, we were provided with food and snacks from a fast-food restaurant in the airport. We were stranded at the airport till 4:00 am. The airline did offer hotel stay to those interested, but we chose to go back home." Passengers said they were also offered taxi fares to and from the airport.
Another Dubai resident Syed Hassan was on his way to Mangalore to attend his daughter's wedding. "I booked the ticket three months ago. The wedding itself is on 21st, but I have a lot of work to complete and have a planned trip to Mumbai on the December 11," lamented Hassan.
He added, "We began our long wait at 9:00 pm, and at 2:00 am we were told about the technical difficulties. We had to exit the airport through immigration all over again."
Hassan said it was a harrowing experience and the airline did a very poor job of communicating with the passengers. "At 12:40 pm last night, the announcement was made on a ticker screen. No one was there to hear our grievances. Finally, at 4:00 am, we were told by the airport manager that the aircraft cannot fly until the technical issue is cleared. Until then, we just waited at the airport with our families," added Hassan. The passengers were given options, which included hotel accommodations, taxi fare, or they could return home. "My family and I chose to get back home," added Hassan.
A spokesperson for Air India Express told Khaleej Times that the flight was delayed due to technical issues.
"The safety of our passengers is our utmost priority. The aircraft IX814 came across certain technical difficulties that required immediate repairs with the use of spare equipment," said the official.
"We have to bring them in from India, after which our engineers need to fix the issues and complete certain test runs to ensure all safety protocols are followed," he added.
The official said the exact time of departure will be conveyed to the passengers at the earliest. "Some of the passengers were given hotel accommodation as well," said the official.
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