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800 AI Passengers Stranded In Riyadh For Two Days

Wed Dec 24, 2003 10:48 am

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.

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RE: 800 AI Passengers Stranded In Riyadh For Two Days

Wed Dec 24, 2003 11:12 am

This was just discussed recently, as it turns out...
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RE: 800 AI Passengers Stranded In Riyadh For Two Days

Wed Dec 24, 2003 11:22 am

Please believe me, from the lounge at DEL departure, that there is a pea-soup fog on here for the past 72 hours, with short breaks during the day.

There are people who are sleeping on the floor at DEL because the fog lifts and drops without much ado. When the fog lifts, then restricted visibility procedure (6 minutes between moves) takes effect.

So if 800 people are stuck at Riyadh, they need to enjoy the sun.
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RE: 800 AI Passengers Stranded In Riyadh For Two Days

Wed Dec 24, 2003 1:57 pm

Another problem here is that one of the 744s has gone AOG at CDG, so the reserve aircraft that would normally be doing the RUH utility flying is also offline.

An all around mess.
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RE: 800 AI Passengers Stranded In Riyadh For Two Days

Wed Dec 24, 2003 2:35 pm

No suprise for an airline run "for my emplyees by my employees". Else, how else do you explain when you persist in schedulig an aircraft during such times with an aircraft DELRUH to fly a RUH HYD or RUH TRV run in the peak of the winter!

Not much different for Indian Airlines also. IC 165 DEL BOM COK operates IC997 COK CCJ DOH BAH. So the flight you guess is now an average five hours late these days!

Again while ICs scheduling is otherwise smart with most of its flights from stations like TRV/COK/CCJ/CJB to BOM etc continuing as one stop to DEL, is it too much to expect them to rearrange these during the winter period?

IC 657 - DEL/BOM/CJB/CCJ - Dep 0600
IC 688 - DEL/BOM/PNQ - Dep 0700
IC165 - DEL/BOM/COK - Dep 0800
IC167 - DEL/BOM/TRV - Dep 0900

None of these flights have taken off till 1030 AM today from DEL due to fog with the result that these flights ex BOM are also delayed. IC knows fully well that most of these pax to the southern destinations are ex BOM including quite a lot of pax connecting from International flights.

No wonder Jet Airwways still does get some market share!

Mr Arora - Is your flight operations department on Christmas Break???

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RE: 800 AI Passengers Stranded In Riyadh For Two Days

Wed Dec 24, 2003 7:22 pm

There is nothing unusual about irregularities in one area of an airline's operation - causing havoc for the rest of the operation. If there is snow in Denver or thunderstorms in Chicago - the entire US aviation system is slowed down due to ATC delays and crew and aircraft being out of sequence and behind schedule. AI happens to be impacted by fog in DEL. It is not a calamity.
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RE: 800 AI Passengers Stranded In Riyadh For Two Days

Wed Dec 24, 2003 8:44 pm

Departure 7 hours behind schedule from DEL, of which 5 were spent sitting inside a CRJ. Oh boy.
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RE: 800 AI Passengers Stranded In Riyadh For Two Days

Wed Dec 24, 2003 9:20 pm

The question here TWAL is about some proper planning! The fog in DEL if you have browsed through other posts here on the subject, you will know is not something unexpected.

Jet and Sahara - the two Indian private airlines has minimised impact considerably by rearranging schedules during this period and so have Air India to some extent. But for sibling Indian Airlines - nothing seems to have changed!

I know for sure that last year many of Jets flights which had routings like DEL BOM COK and DEL BOM TRV, the BOM COK and BOM TRV timings were operated more or less on schedule with available aircraft and the DEL BOM legs operated when the weather lifted. My question is why is IC persisting on delaying their similar flights? It is no rocket science for IC to determine that on a good day they will have a maximun 20 pax flying through on DEL TRV ! So why keep thje other 120 odd waiting at BOM?


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