An IndiGo flight from Rajahmundry bound for Tirupati, which had 70 passengers on board including actor-turned-politician and YSRCP legislator RK Roja, had to be diverted to Bengaluru on the afternoon of Tuesday, December 14. TDP leader and former Finance Minister of Andhra Pradesh Yanamala Ramakrishnudu was also on the flight which was diverted to Bengaluru due to a technical snag. Renigunta Airport sources told IANS that the flight landed safely at Bengaluru. They said that the aircraft had been diverted there because the Renigunta Airport is not equipped to repair the snag.
The aircraft is expected to return to Renigunta after the snag is rectified. While the airline has not commented on the development, Nagari MLA Roja took to social media to update her status. She put out a video saying the doors of the aircraft remained closed, and that passengers are waiting for further word on the status of their journey. The IndiGo 6E 7265 flight was scheduled to arrive at Tirupatiâ€™s Renigunta airport around 10.55 am.
Speaking about the incident to Sakshi TV, MLA Roja said that the passengers were made to remain inside the aircraft for nearly four hours. â€śWe are waiting inside, as we are not sure if they have permission (to let us deboard). At first, we thought due to cloudy weather, the ground wasnâ€™t visible which is why they couldnâ€™t land in Renigunta. Now we have found out there was a technical problem,â€ť she said, adding that there was panic and restlessness among the passengers. She also said that she was in pain from sitting in the plane for long hours due to a recent surgery, and had requested to be allowed to exit the aircraft on medical grounds.
According to Sakshi, MLA Roja alleged that the passengers were asked to pay an amount of Rs 5,000 each to be allowed to deboard the plane. However, the airline is yet to respond to the allegation. The Times of India reported that the passengers were eventually allowed to leave the aircraft at the Bengaluru airport and had to reach their destinations on their own.