Indian embassy in Doha issues extraordinary clarification, denies ‘rumours’ on why Qatar refused last-minute landing permission to Air India repatriation flight


Around 181 passengers were left stranded at the Doha airport on Sunday after Air India cancelled its repatriation Doha-Thiruvananthapuram flight. Among those stranded were pregnant women, elderly and passengers with medical needs. According to some media reports, the flight was denied permission to land in Doha because of ‘technical reasons.’ However, several local media reports claimed that the reason behind the last-minute cancellation of the Doha-Thiruvananthapuram flight was that Qatar was reportedly upset on being misled by India.

Indian embassy

Social media were abuzz with claims that Qatar cancelled the landing permission after learning that India was charging its passengers, whereas the gulf country was informed that the flight in question was for evacuating the Indian nationals.

The Indian embassy in Qatar later took to Twitter to claim that the flight was cancelled due to ‘technical reasons.’ It tweeted, “Unfortunately IX-374 scheduled for today from Doha to Thiruvananthapuram was cancelled for technical reasons. Being rescheduled for 12 May 2020. Passengers already booked for the flight to reconfirm tomorrow. Those with exit permit issues will not be cleared for boarding.”

In its subsequent tweet, the embassy clarified that there was no truth in reports of Qatar denying the landing permission over differences of landing and handling charges. It tweeted, “Some media channels are making the baseless claim that IX374 scheduled from Doha to T’puram on 10 May was cancelled because of differences over landing and handling charges. Nothing could be further from the truth. Please don’t encourage such damaging rumours.”

Meanwhile, the repatriation flight from Doha to Kerala has now been rescheduled for Tuesday. The flight will depart from Doha at 1630 local time and reach its destination in Kerala at 0040 local time.


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