September 03

Air India may cancel some flights if fuel crisis continues

Pune: Air India may cancel its flights at affected airports if the ongoing fuel crisis continues. Senior employees of the national carrier said a decision will be reached at a meeting on Friday. 

On August 22, state-owned oil marketing firms stopped the supply of aviation turbine fuel (ATF) to Air India at six airports — Pune, Ranchi, Visakhapatnam, Mohali, Patna, and Kochi. Raipur and Hyderabad were added to the list later. 

“On September 6, Air India will take stock of the situation and decide which flights will be temporarily grounded. This means if the problem continues, we will have to cancel some flights from the affected airports,” Air India spokesperson Dhananjay Kumar told TOI on Monday.

Air India operates 10 flights from Pune to different destinations, such as Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Bhopal, Belgaum etc. Air India Express, a subsidiary, flies from Pune to Dubai, one of two direct international flights from Pune. 

On when the crisis is expected to be resolved, Kumar said, “No one knows when the issue will be solved.” 

Airline sources at the Lohegaon airport said they received no information from the headquarters. “There have been certain payload issues or diversions due to the crisis, but we are managing things,” an official said. 

On August 28, the passengers of an Air India flight from Hyderabad to Pune were in for a rude shock — the flight was delayed by an hour-and-a-half and then, once it arrived in Pune, they were informed that their luggage had to be left behind. Many Air India flights flying to the affected airports started carrying fuel for the return trip too, impacting the payload.  

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