Air India cancels scheduled flight to pick up Indian cricket team in Barbados

Jaggrim / X

Air India reportedly canceled a scheduled flight from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) to Delhi International Airport (DEL) to pick up the Indian cricket team stranded due to a hurricane in Barbados.

The Indian men’s cricket team won the T20 Cricket World Cup 2024 on June 29, 2024, in Barbados but was unable to fly back to India due to Hurricane Beryl. 

Reports from Indian media outlets stated that the Indian national carrier canceled flight AI 105 and converted it into a chartered flight to pick up the team upon the request of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

The Boeing 777LR bearing registration VT-AEE, was then given the call sign AIC24WC which stood for Air India Cricket World Cup (2024). 

When the flight took off from Grantley Adams International Airport (BGI) in Bridgetown, it became the most watched and anticipated flight among Indian cricket fans.

The Indian Cricket Team captain, Rohit Sharma, posted a photograph of himself with the ICC World Cup cricket on board the flight and uploaded it on his social media channels.

The flight eventually landed in Delhi at 06:05 local time on July 4, 2024. However, the victorious homecoming flight did not go unnoticed by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), India’s civil aviation regulatory board. 

According to Indian media outlet Business Standard, the board requested Air India to submit a “factual report” on the incident. As per DGCA rules issued in December 2017, a carrier can operate a non-scheduled international flight only if it is in no way affecting its scheduled flight operations.

While an official report has not been produced by Air India at the time of writing, a spokesperson for the airline told the Business Standard that all passengers of the Newark-Delhi flight were accommodated on other flights operated by the airline and its partner airlines.

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