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A Kochi-bound Air India plane, carrying over 150 passengers from here, had to abort takeoff at the last minute following a technical problem and was grounded.
The flight AI 054, that was scheduled to take off for Kochi from the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport at 5.30 am, departed for its destination at around 9 am after the airline changed the aircraft, a source said.
An Air India spokesperson confirmed the delay of its Kochi flight from Mumbai due to technical issues.
The aircraft had to be grounded due to technical issues and the replacement (of the aircraft) took some time, which resulted in the flight getting delayed, the spokesperson said, without elaborating on the "technical" problem.
The Airbus 319 plane had started taxiing for the takeoff when the pilot reported some technical problem in the plane and decided abort the take off and return to the bay, the source said.
Air India engineers inspected the aircraft for nearly two hours, during which all passengers remained seated in the plane, the source claimed, adding that they later declared it unfit for flying.
"The stranded passengers were then taken back to the terminal building and went through the security check-in process all over again to board the replaced aircraft," the source claimed.
The average flying time between Mumbai and Kochi is 1 hour and 42 minutes.