The passengers were travelling on the Air India flight from Chennai to Male via Thiruvananthapuram. The ensuing delay resulted in the flight departing at 9.13 a.m. instead of the scheduled time of 7 a.m.
According to reports, the Air India commander in question had resigned last week and was serving his notice period. On Tuesday, he asked for the woman officer to fly with him on the same flight. However, when the request was denied by the airlines, the official threatened to report sick.
When he appeared for duty on Wednesday, he refused to fly until he was accompanied by the female co-pilot in question. In the end, the airlines was forced to arrange for the co-pilot.
Air India has a notorious record for delayed flights and leaving passengers stranded within the aircraft. In 2016 alone, flights have been delayed after a fight broke out between two flight attendants, because the plane did not have a pilot ready, or because the pilots were diverted to another flight carrying politicians and judges.
Last month, passengers on a two-hour flight from Delhi to Kolkata were stranded for close to 13 hours due to a technical snag.
An official aviation report in 2015 had revealed that Air India tops the list of Indian airlines with the maximum cancelled and delayed flights.
(Sonam Joshi - Mashable)