Passengers travelling aboard Air India Express 814 from Dubai to Mangaluru caused chaos at Cochin International Airport after the flight was diverted due to bad weather.
AIE 814 was meant to land at Mangaluru International Airport, but was sent to Cochin due to severe rainfall at the destination that impeded visibility and safety.
“We could not land the flight in MIA so the pilot diverted to CIA. We are operating in regulated conditions of the DGCA,” said AIE Chief of Airport Services Aby George.
However, passengers became frustrated when they were made to wait next to the aircraft aboard buses for more than an hour.
Several dozen passengers, especially those returning home from Dubai to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, held a protest next to the aircraft, which escalated and resulted in a confrontation with airport security officials within the terminal building.
According to George, the standoff then escalated into a mob.
“Once the flight landed in CIA, the weather did not improve and by then the duty hours of the crew on board was over. So we had to bring another set of crew from Thiruvananthapuram,” he said. “We told the passengers that we were planning a 9.30am departure. Though we tried to convince the passengers about the bad weather, there was a mob fury,” George said.