Haj pilgrims confine crew in AI plane for 15 hours


Due to fog, the flight AI-891A was diverted to Mumbai at 5.30pm on Saturday and the plane could not leave until 9 pm. When the passengers were asked to deplane and make their way to the transit lounge and hotel for overnight stay, a few of them refused and created a ruckus on board the aircraft.

“The unruly passengers blocked the exits and prevented the security and traffic from coming on board and/or deplaning the other passengers into the parked buses,” a statement issued by All India Cabin Crew Association said.

The passengers did not let anyone deplane for 15 hours until 9.40 am on Sunday, the statement said adding the flight took off at 1 pm when the cabin crew were let off after discussions between the Air India management and the passengers, the statement said.

Probe sought

The All India Cabin Crew Association on Sunday demanded an investigation by the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) into the “illegal confinement” of the cabin crew and the passengers by a group of passengers onboard the Air India flight.

“The All India Cabin Crew Association has filed an e-mail complaint with the DGCA on the illegal confinement of crew and passengers by a handful of passengers. The siege of AI 89-A is a violation of air law and must be investigated as to why was Central Industrial Security Force/police were not pressed into action during the 15-hour siege of the Air India aircraft,” the  crew association said in a statement here.

The association said no Central Industrial Security Force or police personnel were deployed by the Air India or the Mumbai International Airport Authorities despite being aware of the situation, the statement said.

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