Oh boy, I really pity the AI officials at Riyadh when they have to explain to a TRV,HYD bound passengers that "There is fog in Delhi, so you can't fly to TRV, HYD"
Is the fog excuse true or is something else going on here? Like planes being used for Haj operations?
800 Air-India Passengers Stranded in Riyadh
Javid Hassan, Arab News Staff
RIYADH, 24December 2003 — Some 800 Air-India passengers bound for various destinations in India were still unsure last night if they would be able to leave after being stranded in Riyadh for over two days.
The passengers, who had been on their way to Bombay, Hyderabad, Trivandrum and Calicut, were shunted around since Monday by the airline, which blames “foggy weather in Delhi.”
V. Senthil Kumar, Air-India’s country manager, told Arab News that Delhi-bound flights from Bombay en route to Riyadh could not take off because of the fog, in turn apparently causing flight delays in Riyadh for passengers traveling to different destinations in India.
Air-India has committed145 flights for its Haj operations, which begin today, and says it does not have sufficient spare aircraft when something goes wrong on this scale.
Kumar said Air-India also found it difficult to provide appropriate accommodation for the stranded travelers as all the major hotels in the capital were fully booked due to the Janadriya Festival. As a result, the passengers have been scattered across various hotels in the capital, with little communication reaching them.
“They are not telling us anything,” one of the stranded passengers, who gave his name only as John, told Arab News by phone. “We are hearing all kinds of rumors. All of us have been put up in different hotels.”
However, two relief aircraft were expected to land at King Khaled International Airport last night, while another flight was expected around 5 a.m. on Wednesday, according to Kumar.