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How Air India operated the special flight for Team India from Barbados – Times of India



NEW DELHI: “It’s a matter of national pride for us.” That’s how Air India described operating a special flight – AIC24WC – from Barbados to Delhi, flying home the World Cup winning Men In Blue who had been stuck in the Caribbean island after Hurricane Beryl forced all flights to be cancelled.
BCCI had been trying to organise special charter to fly back the team, players’ family members and others from India who were there for the World Cup which India had won last Saturday.They were originally supposed to fly Emirates but all flights to and from Barbados were cancelled due to the hurricane.
“BCCI had reached out to multiple airlines and charter companies to fly out Team India from Barbados. They contacted us also. We decided this was a matter of national pride. A Boeing 777 was supposed to operate Newark-Delhi on July 1. That flight was cancelled and the aircraft sent to Barbados,” said AI sources.
Over 200 passengers were booked on that cancelled flight.
“We informed passengers and offered to rebook them on other airlines. Still many passengers reached the airport for this flight. Some of them were sent on United to Delhi from Newark; some were driven to New York and then flown to Delhi on another AI flight and some were sent to hotels,” said a person in the know.
“The team hotel in Barbados was running out of food, water and other essential items. Other airlines were not agreeing to operate a special flight. We felt it was a national duty and pride to operate the flight. Once we ascertained it could be done with absolute safety, we operated the aircraft from Newark to Barbados,” said AI sources.
The DGC has sought a report from AI in this matter.





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