Mangaluru, May 13, 2018: An Air India flight from Saudi Arabia to Mangaluru via Mumbai was delayed by 10 hours, leaving the passengers high and dry. The flight was ferrying many people who were to vote in the elections on May 12, Saturday, said sources.
According to a source in Air India, the aircraft was scheduled to arrive at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai at 5am from King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah. However, it reached its destination only at 3pm.
According to the Air India website, the connecting flight from Mumbai was scheduled to leave the airport at 10.25am and reach the Mangaluru International Airport at 12pm. However, as the passengers from Saudi Arabia reached late, they were given two options– either to travel to the Calicut International Airport, Kozhikode, and then take a connecting flight to Mangaluru or take the Mumbai-Mangaluru direct flight.
The flight from Mumbai is scheduled to leave at 6.50am on Saturday and reach Kozhikode at 8.45am, while the direct flight from Mumbai to Mangaluru is scheduled to leave at 10.25am and arrive at 12pm.
A source said a majority of these passengers had gone on pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia and were coming back to cast their vote.
An MLA candidate alleged that the passengers were intentionally diverted to Kozhikode. “Forty of my votes are stranded in Mumbai,” he said.
Airline sources said the passengers will be able to make it to the polling centres, as they will get a few hours after landing in the city.