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"Hijack" In India.......

Tue May 23, 2000 6:16 pm

.....interesting article found in the New Paper today

Pilot, fly us to Patna instead
Indian MPs order pilot to make detour

May 23, 2000

YOU don't need a gun to hijack an airplane.

Some 100 passengers on board an Indian aircraft realised this when they were "hijacked" by the country's elected politicians on May 12.

It happened on board Alliance Air flight CD7411 where 27 senior Indian MPs turned "hijackers".

The plane was bound for Lucknow, capital of the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, from the national capital, New Delhi.

But the "hijackers" forced the captain to fly the plane to Patna, capital of the eastern state of Bihar, instead.

Their reason was simple: they were MPs from Bihar and had no time to land in another state capital.

Since they changed their minds only on boarding the plane, they ordered the pilot to "drop them off" first at Patna before flying to Lucknow.

"The politicians flouted all traffic norms by their irrational behaviour," said a senior aviation source, based in Delhi.

Bihar is notorious for its lawless, dishonest and reckless politicians.

Mr Shailendra Jain, a passenger, recalled the whole flight as a "harrowing experience".

"The MPs' behaviour was nothing but an obnoxious show of power," he fumed.

It is learnt that an MP of the Samata Party, Mr Prabhunath Singh, and the Union Water Resources Minister, Mr C P Thakur, decided they wanted to go to Patna after boarding the plane.

While the plane was revving up, Mr Singh switched on his handphone to speak to India's Civil Aviation Minister, Mr Sharad Yadav.

When a crew member requested that he switch off his phone, Mr Singh rebuffed him in coarse Hindi.

"Shut up, I am speaking to your father," he told the steward.

Soon enough, there was an announcement from the pilot: the plane would return to base and everyone would have to get off.

"No explanation was given," said another passenger, Mr B K Bansal.

Passengers were further shocked to see the Union Civil Aviation Minister, Mr Yadav, appear in person at the airport.

The minister was heard telling the pilot: "Drop the MPs at Patna first and then go wherever you want".

The passengers then got off and spent five hours waiting.

They were given various reasons for the delay including bad weather and that someone had been taken ill.

The result of all this rescheduling was that the plane finally landed at Patna at 11.30 pm taking a risk as the airport has no night-landing facilities.

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Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2000 6:25 am


Tue May 23, 2000 6:44 pm

Isn't that quite normal???
Just another reason to be a little careful when choosing airline company.
These days become even more complecated for passengers since you also have to ask with which companies your eventual carrier has code sharing agreaments. Don't forget to ask that question.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs

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