Mumbai: A Delhi-bound IndiGo aircraft, scheduled to fly Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju and other passengers, developed a windscreen crack minutes before its take-off from Nagpur airport on Tuesday evening.
Raju, who visited Nagpur earlier in the day, was waiting to board the 8 PM (6E-202) flight when the crack was noticed.
Nagpur airport officials have confirmed the development, saying the minister had not boarded the plane, but was just waiting to board.
When the aircraft landed, its windshield was found cracked, an official of the state-run airport said, requesting anonymity.
The official added that the airline has made an alternative aircraft available.
The number of passengers could not be known immediately.
Meanwhile, IndiGo, in a statement issued tonight, said, "IndiGo flight 6E-202 from Nagpur to Delhi, scheduled to depart from Nagpur at 8:15 PM, was grounded at Nagpur as the incoming aircraft which operated on Pune-Nagpur sector had both windshields cracked. To avoid further delay, 6E-692 from Vizag to Delhi was diverted through Nagpur and the flight departed from Nagpur at 8:57 PM."
102 transit passengers at Nagpur and 57 passengers from Vizag are scheduled to arrive in Delhi at 10 PM, it said.
"Airbus aircraft windshields have multiple layers. On 6E-202, only outer layer had cracked due to enroute weather. While the aircraft was perfectly safe to continue to destination, further operations of aircraft are not permitted as per the requirements. Safety of all the passengers and crew is of utmost importance to IndiGo and there is absolute commitment and no compromise on the same," the statement added.