Muscat: A shortage of cockpit crew and aircraft is reportedly affecting Air India’s efforts to operate international flights on time from the Muscat International Airport.
Officials said a Muscat-Delhi flight was delayed by more than nine hours on Monday because cockpit crew and the aircraft weren’t available at the Delhi International Airport.
“Due to the shortage of aircraft and cockpit crew, the flight from Delhi got delayed. Accordingly, the Muscat-Delhi flight also got delayed,” confirmed a senior official working with Air India in Muscat.
“This is not a rare incident. There were some delays in the past because of inadequate cockpit crew,” the official added.
Meanwhile, the passengers were livid following the delays. “We checked in three to four hours before departure but had to wait for more than 12 hours until we finally left the airport,” said a passenger, who travelled to New Delhi.
The flight was supposed to leave for New Delhi on Monday night at 11:10pm, but it finally left on Tuesday morning around 8:15am.
Those waiting for a connecting flight from Delhi airport were also stranded at the Muscat airport. “There was no announcement of any delay and we had to wait for hours at the airport,” passengers complained.
From New Delhi, 169 passengers were coming to Muscat on that flight and around 137 passengers from Muscat had booked their tickets, officials said.
The Airbus 321 Muscat-Delhi flight can carry around 182 passengers, including 12 in business class. The flight took off from Muscat after 8:15am and landed in Delhi at 1:20pm.