TRICHY: A snag in the inbound flight and its subsequent diversion to Indonesia left 97 passengers travelling to Kuala Lumpur stranded at the Trichy international airport for more than 11hours on Monday.
According to airport authorities, the pilot discovered a snag in one of the engines of flight AK 25 almost an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur. He requested permission to land at an airport nearby following which the plane was diverted to Indonesia where it took several hours to fix the snag.
Sources said the passengers included a 10-member group from Trichy going on vacation. Air Asia flight AK25 was to arrive at 8.55 am and depart from here at 9.25 am as AK24. The passengers who arrived around 7.25 am were told that the flight would arrive one or two hours late.
However, hours passed and the flight arrived only at 6.30 pm, after almost 9 hours S Sivakumar, 43, a civil engineer who headed the 10-member family, said they were on their way to Kuala Lumpur for a two-day tour which also covered Singapore. “We planned our tour programme a few months ago and booked everything in advance including boarding, lodging, entry fee for various tourist spots, flight ticket for Singapore from Kuala Lumpur on April 11 and return ticket to Trichy from Singapore.
However, due to the delay, we have lost several thousand rupees per head”, he said. Airline authorities neither gave the correct time of arrival nor any information on cancellation of service. The group members said they had booked even cabs in Kuala Lumpur from the airport to the hotel based on the Air Asia official’s assurance about the arrival time of the delayed flight.
However, they were made to suffer the ordeal along with a four-month-old baby till evening, he said. When asked about compensating the passengers, the official said that as per norms passengers were eligible for some compensation for which they had to apply online.