A direct flight to the African nation of Mauritius from Pudong International Airport was delayed for almost two days due to mechanical problems, affecting about 200 passengers.
The flight finally took off last night, with about 190 of the original passengers onboard. Some 10 others had already taken other flights. Passengers said the company, Air Mauritius, promised to cover the loss by putting them on other carriers if they wanted and paying for two nights' accommodation in Mauritius.
The delay happened on Tuesday night as Flight MK681, scheduled to leave at 9:25pm, reported mechanical glitches. Passengers were already on the Airbus A-330-200 when the problem was detected.
"The pilot tried several times to get the plane to fly but failed," said passengers, who reported that the plane never actually left the gate. Passengers finally got off the plane about 1am.
The tired travelers, many of them newlywed couples on their honeymoon trips, were taken to a hotel near the airport.
The glitches could not be fixed until new plane parts arrived from France. Travel agency sources said a computer control board and other key parts broke down, causing the problem. Air Mauritius officials in Shanghai could not be reached for comment.
Local travel agencies arranged for some travelers to take other flights to Mauritius, by indirect means. Eight passengers first took a flight to Singapore and then to Mauritius by yesterday morning. Another two left for Mauritius by yesterday afternoon.
The flight is a new one, having just begun weekly operation in July this year. The flight is the only direct trip to Mauritius from Shanghai, and the first Africa route operated by a foreign airline company.
MK681 is scheduled to travel at 9:25pm each Tuesday, arriving at Mauritius at 7:20am the following day. The flight is used mostly by businessmen and Mauritius students studying in China, city airport authorities said.