Riyadh: Over 400 India-bound passengers were stranded for many hours at a Saudi Arabian airport since early Wednesday morning as an Air India flight could not take off due to a technical glitch, a news report said.
Air India Flight AI962 was scheduled to leave the Saudi port city of Jeddah for Kozhikode in the south Indian state of Kerala at 12.15 a.m. Wednesday, but got delayed due to a technical fault that led to passengers waiting for long hours at the King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, Saudi Gazette reported Thursday.
A senior Air India official said the passengers would be flown on another flight at 12.30 p.m. Thursday, the report said.
A technical fault was reported in the aircraft after it landed at the airport.
"On inspection after landing, the engineers could not pinpoint the precise cause of the glitch. Since we had completed all the procedures, our hope was that the flight could be ready for takeoff any moment," Saudi Gazette quoted Feroz Khan, manager of Air India, as saying.
Therefore, the officials could not inform the passengers about the exact departure time, he added.
Air India officials accommodated many passengers in hotels for the night.
According to a stranded passenger, E.T. Muhammad Basheer, a member of parliament from Ponnani in Kerala, the Air India officials did not give the passengers who were waiting in the departure lounge clear information about the fate of their flight even after the scheduled departure time.
Consequently, other flights for Kozhikode and Hyderabad were rescheduled for the coming weekdays, the report said.