Javadekar, Goyal stranded at Kochi airport for 2 hours

New Delhi: Two Union Ministers were stranded for two hours at the Kochi international airport today after the Jet Airways flight on which they were scheduled to travel to Mumbai could not take off on time due to “non-availability” of pilot, sources said tonight.

Union Ministers Prakash Javadekar and Piyush Goyal were later flown to Delhi and Mumbai respectively by other flights.

Jet Airways flight 9W 404 which was scheduled to depart for Mumbai at 1620 hours could not take off because the airlines could not get a pilot to operate the aircraft.

Repeated calls and text messages sent to Jet Airways’ spokesperson did not yield any response.

Goyal and Javadekar, who were scheduled to travel to Mumbai, left by other flights. While Environment and Forests Minister Javadekar boarded a flight to Delhi, Power Minister Goyal went to Mumbai.

This is the second time in last two days when a Jet Airways flight has been delayed due to non-availability of pilot as on Wednesday its Toronto-bound flight from Delhi via Brussels was grounded for nine hours for the same reason.

The airline had claimed that Toronto-flight was initially delayed due to some “technical” reasons and later because of the restrictions on pilots’ flying timings.