KANNUR: The passengers who were stranded here a day ago after a Delhi-bound Air India plane was forced to land at the Kannur International Airport due to a bird hit, finally left for the national capital on Tuesday aboard another aircraft of the airline.
The flight with 135 passengers had originated from Kozhikode and landed in the Kannur airport before flying to Delhi. ''A Delhi-bound Air India flight from Bengaluru was routed through Kannur to pick up the 61 stranded passengers,'' the airport SHO told PTI.
They were sent on the flight from Bengaluru as the bird-hit aircraft was still undergoing fitness trials and the airline did not want to further delay the travel plans of the passengers, the officer said.
While the bird-hit aircraft was undergoing repairs, Air India also kept open the option of routing a flight from Bengaluru to Delhi through Kannur, the officer said.
Earlier in the day, an Air India official said that they planned to send the passengers to Delhi on the same bird-hit aircraft once it was repaired and certified fit to fly.
He also said that of the total 135 passengers who were on board, some had cancelled their tickets and took an Indigo flight, while some others had re-scheduled their travel leaving around 85 people who were accommodated in hotels in Kannur.
''Of the 85, 24 were foreign bound passengers and they were sent to their respective destinations in Dubai and Bahrain on Air India Express flights yesterday and this morning.
''Now 61 domestic passengers are presently here and they would be sent to Delhi on the same plane once it is repaired,'' the official said in the morning.
The official had also said that seven engineers arrived here from Delhi and they are presently examining and repairing the aircraft's engines which had remains of the birds which hit it.
After the repair work is completed, they will carry out engine run-ups to ascertain if the aircraft was flight worthy and if all goes well, the flight is tentatively scheduled to take-off at 1.30 PM, he had said.