Pune: Over 100 passengers had to sit inside a Pune-Bengaluru Jet Airways flight for more than an hour on Friday morning due to a glitch in the rostering system, which failed to record the absence of a flight officer, who was on leave for health reasons.
The flight (9W773), which was scheduled to take off at 5.55am, finally departed around 7.30 am after a flight officer was brought in.
Virag Mantri, a Pune-based marketing executive who was on the flight, told TOI that the boarding started around 5.30am. “At 6am, the pilot made an announcement that the flight would be delayed by around 30-35 minutes due to operational issues. Later, the pilot made another announcement that the flight would be delayed further but efforts were being made for its departure. Around 7.20am, the pilot announced that the first officer of the aircraft had fallen sick and, hence, a new crew would take over. The flight finally took off at 7.30am,” Mantri said.
Another passenger said that if there was any issue, the authorities should have de-boarded the passengers. “It’s frustrating to sit in the aircraft for so long. If there was a problem, passengers should have been de-boarded and taken to the terminal building,” the passenger added.
Jet Airways said that the first pilot had not fallen sick but was on leave because of health reasons. “A change in the cockpit crew had to be made due to a technical glitch in the rostering system. Jet Airways regrets the inconvenience caused to guests,” an airline spokesperson told TOI.
05/01/19 Joy Sengupta/Times of India