Air India flies stranded Indian cricket team to Colombo
Bangalore, Sep 9 (IANS) National carrier Air India Wednesday flew the Indian cricket team to Colombo from Chennai via Bangalore by a special aircraft, as the players could not take the Jet Airways due to a strike by its pilots.
"We have operated a Boeing 737-800 of our budget airline (Air India Express) to take the Indian team that was stranded at Chennai airport after their Jet flight was cancelled," Air India spokesman V. Chandrashekar said in a statement.
Most of the Indian cricketers including Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambir, Rahul Dravid, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra, Dinesh Karthik, Abhishek Nayar, Ashish Nehra, Yusuf Pathan, Praveen Kumar, Venkatesh Prasad, and Robin Singh and coach Gary Kirsten boarded the aircraft at Chennai.
Captain M.S Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, R.P. Singh and Suresh Raina, who represented Air India in the final match of the inaugural BCCI Corporate Trophy here Tuesday, boarded the flight from Bangalore international airport at Devanahalli, about 40km from the city.
"Our special service ensured the Indian team would not have to go through anxious moments on the eve of their departure to participate in the Tri-Series Championship in Colombo," the official added.
The special flight safely arrived in Colombo at 1.55 p.m. (Sri Lankan time) after departing from Bangalore at 12.40 p.m. (Indian standard time).