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Air India’s flight delayed for an hour-and-half to serve government official

MUMBAI: A New York-bound Air India’s flight AI 191 flight from Mumbai delayed for an hour-and-half after Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’s principal secretary failed to produce a valid visa.

According to Hindustan Times, around 250 passengers bound for Newark were held up at Mumbai airport after Pravin Pardeshi produced an old passport booklet with a valid visa, officials said.

The local Indian daily quoted airline sources as saying Pravin Pardeshi, who was part of a delegation to the US, had a valid multiple entry US visa, but it was not on his passport as he was carrying a new booklet.

According, in usual conditions such travellers are denied boarding and flights depart on schedule but Fadnavis granted time to fetch the passport booklet as airline staff waited for the visa.

“Ideally, the irregularity should have been spotted at the check-in counter itself. But the official did not face any trouble clearing check-in and immigration. He was only stopped at the boarding gate,” said a senior AI staffer, requesting anonymity.

However, CM Fadnavis termed the allegation as ‘misleading’. “The allegation that I forced delay of the flight to New York is false and misleading. I totally deny it,” he tweeted.

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