India's national carrier Air India has suspended three employees and warned a pilot for late-coming after some 125 passengers, including Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapati Raju, had to wait inside a plane at the Delhi airport for over an hour on Wednesday morning.
The minister demanded an explanation from new Air India Chairman And Managing Director Pradeep Kharola as angry passengers confronted him and demanded to know why their flight from Delhi to Vijaywada was not taking off.
Mr Raju, surrounded by protesting passengers, phoned Mr Kharola from the aircraft.
The Air India chief has reportedly taken serious note of the incident, attributed to "coordination issues" between two departments of the airline. He has called a meeting of senior officials, say sources.
The flight was to take off at 6 am but the airline's operation wing reportedly decided to wait for better visibility. This was apparently not communicated to the ground staff, who started boarding on the aircraft as scheduled.
The flight was delayed even more when the pilot was reportedly stopped at the security check over a problem with his airport pass. Only the co-pilot could reach the plane on time.
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