Although the airline blamed bad weather for the diversion, the passengers claimed that the pilot aborted two attempts to land in Mumbai.
Mumbai: Scenes of agitation were witnessed after IndiGo flight 6E 2441 from Lucknow to Mumbai was diverted to Udaipur on Tuesday afternoon after the pilot failed to land in Mumbai. The flight returned to Mumbai only at 8 pm, after the pilot was changed on account of passengers creating a ruckus at Udaipur Airport.
The flight departed from Lucknow Airport at 11.10 am and was scheduled to land in Mumbai at 1.15 pm. However, the aircraft did two go-arounds before the pilot decided to divert to Udaipur airport. Although the airline blamed bad weather for the diversion, the passengers claimed that the pilot aborted two attempts to land in Mumbai, and a third attempt to land in Udaipur before the aircraft safely touched down at Udaipur Airport.
After landing, the passengers demanded that the airline change the pilot and stayed put in the aircraft. Some took to Twitter with complaints to civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia and the regulator, DGCA. Ajay Kapoor tweeted, “Flight Indigo 6E 2441 (Lko to Mumbai) not able to land in Mumbai due to poor management of Indigo Team. There are chances either Airbus malfunctioned or pilot not able to handle… Intervention needed.”
Another passenger Saurabh Singh Kaushik told HT, “The pilot made two failed attempts at Mumbai Airport and one at Udaipur Airport. The flight touched down at Mumbai Airport, and he took off again. Even in Udaipur where there was no question of bad weather, he failed to land in the first attempt. That’s why all of us decided not to fly with the same pilot. It took three hours for the airline to agree and change the pilot, and we landed back in Mumbai around 8 pm.”
Saurabh Chapdia, a 35-year-old businessman, said, “We have never faced this in so many years of travel. We could clearly see that the flight touched down on the runway and took off again. A similar thing happened in Udaipur. Like a fruit falling from a tree, the aircraft came down and did a hard landing. It was a tough situation, and it is God’s grace that we landed safely.”
The data from Flightradar24.com showed that the flight climbed down to 7,000 ft when it turned around and continued downwards till 300 ft before diverting to Udaipur Airport. Capt Mohan Ranganathan, aviation safety consultant and former instructor pilot of Boeing 737, after watching the playback of the flight on flightradar24.com, said that the pilot had made one attempt and gone around. “He has entered a holding pattern north of Mumbai before diverting,” he said. Sources at Mumbai ATC attributed the diversion to gusty winds due to the impact of Cyclone Biparjoy on the Gujarat coast.
A spokesperson for Indigo said, “Due to bad weather, the pilot could not land in Mumbai and decided to go to Udaipur… After landing in Udaipur, he said he was fatigued and hence asked for crew replacement. This took some time and the flight left after 6 pm.”