New Delhi: The crew shortage hit the national carrier Air India again on Monday with its flight to Ahmedabad from here failing to depart for its destination even after delay of one-and-half hours and putting over 150 passengers onboard at inconvenience.
"The flight was scheduled to take off at 8 PM but till 7:30 PM there were no signs of boarding. When enquired, we were told the flight would take off around 8:30 PM due to crew shortage. Airline also said they were waiting for the crew of another flight to land so that they could be utilised," an aggrieved passenger said.
When contacted, an Air India spokesperson confirmed that the flight (AI-030 Delhi-Ahmedabad) was delayed due to crew shortage.
"There was one crew shortage and for this reason the flight has been rescheduled," the spokesperson said.
The flight had not departed till at 9:45 PM.
Earlier in the day, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Minister Mahesh Sharma had informed the Lok Sabha that as many as 420 Air India flights were delayed between March 2014 to February 2015 and that regular on-time performance review meeting were being held at the highest level, besides cutting salary of the staff responsible for the delays.
"As a result of rigorous measures to improve the on-time performance, there is an improvement in the OTP from 62.3 per cent in December 2014 to 74.7 per cent in February 2015," Sharma said.
He also said Air India continually monitors the carriage /load factors/financial performance of the services on its network and makes efforts to improve their performance.
Air India has recently withdrawn two Mumbai-Ahmedabad- Mumbai flights (AI 985/AI-643) between October and November 2014, besides its Delhi-Dhaka-Delhi flight from February 21 last, the Minister said.
Sharma also informed that the national carrier has also reduced the frequency of services on its New Delhi-Moscow-New Delhi route (AI 155/AI-156) to two flights per week from four with effect from February 25 to April 15, 2015.
Air India had resumed Moscow flight last August after a gap of 15 years.