Passengers of AI 952 are forced to spend over an hour at Hyderabad airport. AI should have to come up with an answer for the additional 30-minute delay even going by its claims of one hour turn around time.

Air India passengers coming by AI 952 from Dubai to Vizag via Hyderabad are being forced to spend over an hour at Hyderabad that too since the first flight in March 2012. Though the authorities initially blamed it on the non-opening up of Vizag Airport for round-the-clock operations, the million dollar question now being asked by international passengers is: “What’s the point in holding up passengers for over an hour, when the Vizag International Airport is open 24-hours”?

At present, AI 952 is arriving in Hyderabad at 5:55 a.m. and leaving for Vizag at 7 a.m. AI 952 will operate from Sharjah from May 1 to July 21 this year as repairs of the runway will be taken up at the Dubai Airport.

“Though there are no problems at Vizag Airport, international flights need at least one hour turnaround time and domestic flights require a minimum 50 minutes,” said an AI official.

Interestingly, the summer schedule for AI 952 shows that the flight would leave Sharjah at 00:35 hours (local time) and arrive in Hyderabad at 5:30 a.m. It would continue to leave at 7 a.m. to reach Vizag at 8 a.m.

“Private airline operators are taking around 40 minutes turnaround time. AI 952 is being operated as a domestic flight from Vizag to Delhi. AI, perhaps, doesn’t want to change the Delhi schedule or there could be other reasons,” says M. Pradyumna, an NRI, who travels to the Gulf frequently.

AI should have to come up with an answer for the additional 30-minute delay even going by its claims of one hour turn around time.

Looks like AI passengers will have to bear the heat this summer also.

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The Waltair Division authorities have introduced ‘summer specials’ to Hyderabad at the beginning of summer, perhaps, for the first time in recent years. The specials are, no doubt, drawing good response from the public.

The authorities should also introduce summer specials to Tirupati, Chennai and Bangalore for which there is a huge wait list. When the issue was brought to his notice by The Hindu, Divisional Railway Manager Anil Kumar said he would explore the possibility.

One wishes the trains start before the heat dies down.

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