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Monday 7 August 2023

Stench in plane cabin forces turnaround

An Air India Express flight between Kochi and the Middle East had to return to its base because passengers could not stand the stench in the cabin.

The airline said a consignment of onions was possibly to blame for the stink.

The flight returned to Kochi after "pungent" and "burning" smells were noticed in the cabin, although the pilots did not receive a malfunction alert.

Several passengers said the smell was unbearable.

The airline confirmed onions and other vegetables were being transported in the hold and may have been the source of the odour.

It apologised to customers and re-booked them on a later flight to Sharjah.

There were 175 passengers on board the flight.

Politician Mathew Kuzhalnadan, a member of the Indian National Congress who was travelling in the aircraft, said there was uncertainty and confusion among the passengers, the Press Trust of India reported.

“To be honest, I fell asleep as soon as I boarded," he said. 

"However, when I woke up with the announcement, there was an uncertainty and confusion among the people.

"When the captain announced we are landing back then, everyone got concerned and slightly nervous. However, it didn’t get worse as we landed back soon.”

Air India Express carries vegetables, fruits, and flowers in large quantities in its cargo hold area, as well as carrying passengers.

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