Air India flight delay leaves minister fuming

Most of us are used to flight delays and would take a 30-minute delay in our stride - but not so Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu, who was vocal in his ire at national carrier Air India after he cancelled his visit to Hyderabad following a flight delay.

Naidu was slated to fly Air India for an official engagement, but had to miss it because the pilot of the Flight AI544 didn't turn up on time. In a series of tweets, the minister slammed Air India's ''unprofessional work culture''.

"Hope Air India understands that we are in the age of competition," Naidu said.

"I had to travel to Hyderabad by Air India AI544 which is to depart at 1315 hrs ... was told on time ... reached airport by 1230 hrs. I was informed at 1315 hrs that flight was delayed as the pilot had not yet come. Waited up to 1345 hrs, boarding didn't start. Returned to home. Air India should explain how such things are happening. Transparency and accountability are the need of the hour. Hope Air India understands that we are in the age of competition. Missed an important appointment," a furious Naidu wrote.

Moments after Naidu's tweets, civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju responded, saying he has ordered a probe into the incident. Raju has asked Air India chairman and managing director Ashwani Lohani to order an inquiry and take action ''on priority basis''.

"Service disruptions are unacceptable and have to be eliminated. Have asked AI to enquire and take action on priority," Raju said.

Sources in Air India told India Today that formalities of who will head the enquiry committee are being worked upon and a report will be submitted ''at the earliest''.