Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport’s terminal-3 departure gate turned into an arena at midnight with a crowd of around 200 people shouting outside the departure gate number-1 against the management of an international airlines company. The demonstrators blocked the main road causing the traffic to slow down.
The grouse of the protesters was that Lufthansa Airlines had cancelled two of its international flights without giving prior information to the passengers. The irate crowd was demanding alternative arrangements for the passengers at the earliest. Some of them started asking for a refund of the fare.
After getting the information about the chaos, teams of the IGI Airport Police and CISF teams, along with senior police officials, reached the spot and tried to bring the situation under control by mediating between the angry passengers and the airline management.
Confirming the incident, Deputy Commissioner of Police, IGI Airport Tanu Sharma said, “The crowd present at the departure gate was demanding a refund of money or an alternate arrangement to be made for their relatives who were present inside the Terminal building.”
The two flights of the Lufthansa Airlines cancelled without prior information to the passengers were LH 761 (Delhi to Frankfurt) having 300 passengers, scheduled to depart at 2.50 am, and LH 763 (Delhi to Munich) having 400 passengers, scheduled to depart at 1.10 am.
On further inquiry with the airlines management, it was found that both the flights were cancelled by the Lufthansa headquarters due to the day-long worldwide strike of all the pilots of the airlines in support of their demand for salary appraisal.
The protesters were mostly family members and relatives of the passengers of the flights. As soon as they were informed that the flights had been cancelled without prior intimation, they were agitated and started shouting. However, thanks to the timely intervention of the IGI Airport Police, airport staff and CISF team the crowd could be dispersed and thus the situation was brought under control.
Finally, after the assurance of alternate arrangements for the passengers by the airline company, the situation got under control.