India Go First flight leaves with more than 50 passengers stranded on Tarmac

File image of a GoAir plane  (Go First )
File image of a GoAir plane (Go First )

An airline is investigating after a plane took off in India leaving a busload of more than 50 passengers abandoned on a runway.

Furious travellers affected by the incident, which happened early on Monday morning local time, have slammed it as the “heights of negligence”.

The flight to Delhi, run by “ultra-low-cost” airline Go First - formerly GoAir - took off from Bengaluru at 6.20am.

Passenger Shreya Sinha told on Twitter how she had boarded a bus bound for the aicraft around 5.35am, and remained in the vehicle “stuffed with over 50 passengers” for around an hour until flight G8 116 departed, leaving them behind.

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Reports said passengers waiting on the bus had checked in their luggage and were holding their boarding passes ready to embark.

Ms Sinha described it as the ”most horrifying experience” and accused Go First of the “heights of negligence”.

Responding to her post, the airline tweeted: “We regret the inconvenience caused.”

Sumit Kumar was also among those left behind. He told television station NDTV that the bus had been left near the gate, while other buses were parked near to the plane to offload passengers.

“We were more than 54 plus on the bus,” he said. “The boarding wasn’t completed.

“The ground staff was checking whether the flight took off. They said initially the flight will return. I missed my meetings. This is going to be my last flight on Go First.”

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A spokesperson for Go First - formerly GoAir - told the Standard that staff involved in the incident have been taken off duty while the incident is investigated.

They said on Tuesday: “We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused to the passengers due to an inadvertent oversight in the reconciliation of flight G8 116, from Bengaluru to Delhi.

“We deeply appreciate and value your patience for bearing with us. In line with our philosophy of customer centricity, the airline has decided to offer all affected passengers one free ticket for travel on any domestic sector in the next 12 months.

“The airline has initiated an inquiry into the incident and the matter is being investigated.

“All concerned staff have been taken off the roster till the inquiry is going on. The airline has issued a notice to the ground handling agency.”

They added that the passengers involved were accommodated on other flights to Delhi and onward to other destinations, run by other airlines.

India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) also reportedly said on Tuesday that it is looking into what happened.

A DCGA spokesperson was quoted by NDTV as saying: “We have sought a report from the airline and appropriate action shall be taken.”