Air India Pilot Refuses To Fly Plane With 100 Passengers Including MPs Onboard; Says Duty Over

Air India
by Shreya Ghosh

Air India has been making the headlines quite often for several reasons. Be it passengers facing inconveniences or some flyer doing something bizarre, the airline ends up being in the news frequently. And this time, the recent news stunned everyone when a pilot refused to take off a Delhi-bound flight with about 100 passengers on Sunday. Here’s all you need to know about this unexpected incident.

This Is Why The Air India Pilot Refused To Take Off

Air India

Picture credit- Wikimedia Commons

About 100 passengers, including 3 BJP MPs, were supposed to travel on Flight AI404 to Delhi from the Rajkot Airport on 23 July 2023. The 3 MPs onboard were Jamnagar MP Poonam Maadam, Rajkot MP Mohan Kundariya, and Rajya Sabha MP Kesaridevsinh Jhala, according to a report by India TV News. The pilot said no to flying the aircraft with the onboard 100 passengers citing his duty hours exceeded as the reason. The pilot stated that his duty hours were over as per the norms and guidelines of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

Also read: Trivandrum-Dubai Air India Flight Returns To Airport; Airlines Cites AC Issue

The scheduled time of Air India taking off from the Rajkot Airport was 8:30 PM, according to a report by Zee News. The flight had to face a delay of about 2 hours. Air India later released a statement stating the scheduled flight faced a delay because of an “operational reason”. Coming under the Flight Duty Time Limit regulations, the cockpit crew could not operate the flight further. A spokesperson of the airline quoted that these regulations are “non-negotiable” and “cannot be compromised under any circumstances”

The Airline Later Cancelled The Flight

Air India

Picture credit- Wikimedia Commons

Following the delay and the refusal of the Air India pilot, the flight did not take off from the Rajkot Airport on Sunday night. There were some passengers who had to reach Delhi urgently. The airline arranged taxis for them so that they can reach Ahmedabad and catch a connecting flight. The airline provided the stranded passengers with hotel accommodation facilities including meals as well. Also, Air India rescheduled their booking according to their preferences. Lastly, passengers were also offered a full refund without cancellation.

Also read: Udaipur-Delhi Air India Flight Makes Emergency Landing As Cell Phone Explodes On Board

Have you ever faced any such debacle while flying with Air India or any other airline?

Cover Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons