In the second incident involving an Air India flight at the Trichy airport, 64 passengers of a Singapore-bound flight were airborne on Monday evening after a 24-hour delay, an airline official said.
He said the Sunday flight to Singapore with 115 passengers was cancelled after a 24-hour delay due to a technical snag. "Of the total, 40 passengers cancelled their tickets and got a full refund. Of the remaining 75 passengers, 11 got tickets for different dates. The others were flown to Singapore on Monday evening in our flight," the official said.
The Sunday flight was cancelled as the air-conditioning system was not functioning properly.
According to the Times of India, the passengers were onboard and the plane was ready for takeoff, when passengers complained that the air conditioning was not working. However, the technical team which was called in could not fix it.
Just days earlier on Friday, an Air India Express flight from Trichy to Dubai with 136 passengers on board hit the Air Traffic Control (ATC) tower and the compound wall during take-off.
The reason for the accident was suspected to be the lack of a sufficient runway length at the Trichy airport. Plans to expand the runway in the airport have been in the offing for a decade now, but cannot be completed due to want of more land. The plane is said to have overshot the runway.
Pictures taken at the site showed that a part of the compound wall of the airport broke due to the impact. This indicates that the flight was just taking off when it grazed the compound wall of the ATC, which led to it crumbling down due to the speed of the aircraft.
"In a recent review on airline safety, I have ordered to put in place a third party professional organisation to look into various safety aspects at @airindiain. In order to have continuous attention towards air safety, I have also ordered concerned officials to put in place a regular "safety compliance report" of all airlines. Safety of the passengers is of paramount importance for us. We will take all thatâ€™s required to put safety on top of aviation agenda. Growth canâ€™t be at the expense of safety," Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu tweeted on Friday.
Safety of the passengers is of paramount importance for us. We will take all thatâ€™s required to put safety on top of aviation agenda. Growth canâ€™t be at the expense of safety.â€” Suresh Prabhu (@sureshpprabhu) October 12, 2018
(With IANS input)