A swarm of mosquitoes delayed Air India flight AI-054 from Mumbai to Kochi by an hour and a half on Monday morning.Over 125 passengers on board refused to fly till the crew tackled the mosquito menace.Passengers alleged that when they complained, the cabin crew told them that nothing can be done. This led to some fliers yelling at the cabin crew. Upon this, though mosquito repellents were sprayed, it didn’t have any effect.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The pilot then asked the passengers to deplane, and, after fumigation, the aircraft finally took off at 7.05 vam.Only a few days ago, a Jet Airways flight to Delhi was delayed by about 15 minutes after a similar mosquito menace. That time, one of the passengers de-planed voluntarily.Nishit Bajoria, western region head of a paper pulp importing company and a passenger on AI-054, said: “Everything was going smooth and we even boarded on time. But once we entered the plane, it was hell with a swarm of mosquitoes hovering all around.”Eyewitnesses said that the situation resembled a comedy show, with passengers making use of newspapers to ward off the mosquitoes. “The entire situation resembled a comedy show,” Bajoria said.An Air India spokesperson did not comment. A Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) official said that they have written to civic authorities several times but that has not yielded any result.MIAL officials said that they have been taking all measures to curb the mosquito menace by keeping the nearby Mithi river clean and preventing water-logging, apart from regular fumigation.

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‘Sting’ operation by mosquitoes delays Air India flight