Air India’s Hyderabad-Vijayawada flight returns after snag

Hyderabad, Aug 11 (IANS) An Air India flight returned to Hyderabad due to a technical snag, minutes after it took off for Vijayawada on Tuesday.

More than 80 passengers had some anxious moments as the flight hovered in the air for 20 minutes before returning to Rajiv Gandhi International Airport.

The flight IA544 had 81 passengers including five Andhra Pradesh legislators, Chief Secretary I.Y.R. Krishna Rao, intelligence chief Venkateswar Rao and some senior officials.

The legislators complained that they felt suffocated soon after the aircraft took off around 4.15 p.m., an hour behind schedule.

The pilot contacted Air Traffic Control (ATC) and sought permission to return.

M. Venugopala Reddy, one of the legislators, said the technical snag was cited as the reason for a delay but it appeared it was not rectified before the flight took off. “We were lucky. Anything could have happened to us,” he said.

The legislator demanded that Air India replace old aircraft with the new ones to win back confidence of the passengers.

He said the air carrier should apologise to passengers for operating such flight without paying much attention to the safety of passengers.

Another legislator Bonda Uma said he would bring this incident to the notice of Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapati Raju.

The legislators said another Air India flight had similar problem in Vijayawada three days ago.

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