NEW DELHI: National carrier Air India upset Union Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday and he expressed his displeasure over social media about the inordinate flight delay he experienced and disturbed his schedule.
Mr. Naidu said he missed an “important meeting” scheduled to be held in Hyderabad after Air India’s pilot failed to show up even after 30 minutes of the scheduled time of departure. The AI 544 flight was scheduled to depart at 1.15 p.m. from the Delhi airport. He returned home soon after 1.45 p.m.
“Air India should explain how such things are happening. Transparency and accountability are the need of the hour. Hope Air India understands that we are in the age of competition. Missed an important appointment,” Mr. Naidu said in a series of ‘tweets.’
Minister of State Mahesh Sharma said Air India Chairman and Managing Director Ashwani Lohani will conduct an enquiry into the incident. “We deeply regret the inconvenience caused due to flight delay.The pilot was stuck in traffic jam. Enquiry has been ordered,” Air India said in a reply to the Minister’s ‘tweet’.
Air India’s on-time performance has been the poorest among all airlines in the country. According to the latest official data, only 74.3 per cent of AI’s flights arrived and departed on time in May at metro airports compared to 90.2 per cent on time performance by AirAsia, 85.1 per cent by Vistara, 83.1 per cent by IndiGo and 82.3 per cent by Jet Airways. The data also showed that 43,827 passengers faced delays beyond two hours – the highest among all domestic airlines in May.