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T-3 confusion continues for second day, 7 flights cancelled

Tempers flared up at the swanky T-3 terminal at IGI airport for the second consecutive day on Friday as several harried passengers faced upto four hours delay in their flights while many others had a long wait for their baggage.

Updated: Nov 12, 2010, 19:22 PM IST

New Delhi: Tempers flared up at the
swanky T-3 terminal at IGI airport for the second consecutive
day on Friday as several harried passengers faced upto four hours
delay in their flights while many others had a long wait for
their baggage.

Air India cancelled two international and five
domestic flights on the second day of its switch to T3 due to
non-availability of crew members.
A large number of tired passengers had to spend hours
at the airport looking for information about the status of
their delayed flights, some of whom were seen losing their
cool at AI officials.

The airline officials had a tough time pacifying the
agitated passengers.

The national carrier had to cancel two international
flights, to Dubai (IC895) and to Kabul (IC843). The five
domestic flights cancelled were to proceed to Mumbai(IC805),
Jaipur(AI610), Hyderabad(IC5602), Chennai(IC644) and
Bangalore(IC624) due to late arrival of incoming
flights, which were operating on international sectors.

"We have no information about our flights, when it
will leave. There is no response from anyone," said an AI
passengers who had to board flight to Amritsar.

"They do not know themselves what is going to happen,
when it is going to happen. They say they have a shortage of
cabin crew and they are trying to arrange. The officials don`t
have information as to whether the flight will take off or
not. How can the crew of a scheduled flight not report on
time, we don`t know," said another passenger.
Air India had yesterday shifted its entire domestic
operations to T3 from T1A but delayed flights, long wait for
baggage, missing crew and confusion for passengers marred the
first day.

Union Ministers Mamata Banerjee, P Chidambaram
Mallikarjun Kharge, and former Minister Shashi Tharoor were
among the passengers last evening who were witness to the mess
at T3 after their flights got delayed due to flight crew not
reporting on time.

Some crew members said delays in the incoming flights
were leading to flight duty time limitation (FDTL) problems.
They pointed out that during the evening rush hour they had to
pass through the immigration counters even to take domestic
flights.

The required documentation to enable them do so
without immigration checks were taking a lot of time to reach
the officials at the counters, thus causing delays, they said.
"Non-functional walkalators" also added to the delays, they
complained.

Keeping this in mind, Jet Airways today asked its
passengers to report at the airline counters at T3 two hours
before the scheduled departure of their flights on Sunday.

The situation is likely get worse from the midnight of
November 13-14, when Jet and Kingfisher Airlines, along with
their low-cost subsidiaries, start their operations from T3.

After fully shifting operations to T3 on November 11,
Air India`s on-time performance has dropped to 30 per cent
from an average of 60-70 per cent when it was operating from
Terminal 1, airport sources said.

Also, the approach road to T3 is witnessing traffic
jams after AI shifted its domestic operations to the new
terminal. The increased traffic load led to huge jams on
National Highway 8, which links the road leading to T3.

PTI