NEW DELHI: An Air India pilot on Wednesday deserted a flight on the runway of the Jaipur airport leaving 48 passengers stranded, apparently because his working hours were over.
According to DNA, the plane was left standing at the airport till Thursday evening.
The Flight 9I 644 was supposed to fly from Lucknow to Delhi, via Jaipur. It was scheduled to arrive at Jaipur airport at 9 pm, however, it was delayed and arrived only at about 1:30 am. Due to the smog at the capital and other technical issues at Delhi airport, it couldn't take off until 2 am.
When it finally moved to the take-off point, the plane halted there again for 30 more minutes. At this point, the pilot declared that his shift was over and left the plane, said a source at the airport. Some of the 48 flummoxed passengers were sent to Delhi by bus early on Thursday morning, while others were accommodated in a hotel and flown up later.
Airport authorities confirmed the incident but refused to comment on it saying it is a matter concerning the airline. The airline staff on duty would also not comment on the bizarre incident, directed the media to the offices of the airline. There too the buck was passed: "We do not know. Such matters come under the Roster department of the airline in Delhi," said one employee.