New Delhi, Sep 16 (IANS) Embarrassed over technical glitch in the plane that was scheduled to fly President Ram Nath Kovind from Switzerland’s Zurich to Slovenia on Sunday, national carrier Air India has ordered probe into the issue.
The snag had delayed the VVIP flight for several hours as it took more than three hours to fix, forcing the President to return to his hotel.
“A thorough investigation would be done to ascertain the issue,” said an Air India official.
The Air India One that flies VVIPs is a 26-year old B747 jumbo jet. After rectifying the engineering glitch, the plane flew the President on after delay of few hours.
An airline executive quoted above said that spares for the B747 are always in the inventory to ensure no operational disruption takes place.
VVIP operations aside, Air India has in the recent months seen frequent break-down of its planes in foreign countries costing it a lot of money to bring them back on the runway. Some of its flights had developed technical glitch in cities such as Paris, Chicago and Tel Aviv taking heavy toll on the airline’s precarious finances.
Grounding of its planes on account of maintenance related issues has been a major problem for the last few years affecting Air India’s optimum fleet utilization. In the beginning of current fiscal, as many as 20 of its aircraft were grounded for want of spares and maintenance.
Air India currently has a fleet size of about 128 aircraft which includes A320, A321, B777, B787 and B747.