As many as 110 passengers aboard an Air India aircraft were forced to sit on the plane for two and half hours on Wednesday because the flight was delayed.

Okay, so this doesn't really sound like anything new. But then, the reason for the delay is bizarre, even by Air India standards.

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The delay happened because the commander insisted for a "particular woman" co-pilot to operate the flight. PTI reported.

The incident happened at Air India's flight to Male from Chennai via Thirunanthapuram.

According to PTI's sources, the commander insisted roster section on Tuesday to schedule the woman flight officer along with him on flight AI 263/264 for Wednesday.

"Roster section, however, informed him that his demand can't be met as she was already scheduled for a Delhi flight," a source said.

Later the commander called up roster section and threatened to report sick, if the particular woman pilot was not assigned the duty with him.

"When the roster section did not oblige, he reported sick on Tuesday. But this morning when he turned up to operate the flight he again insisted for the same co-pilot, forcing the airline to arrange his favourite co-pilot," one of the sources alleged.

But in the process, the flight was delayed as it departed at 9.13am against its schedule time of 7am, the sources said.

In between, the commander also complained of high blood pressure and was treated for the same, sources told PTI. Interestingly, the commander quit Air India last week and is serving a six-month notice period, the sources said.

Airline spokesperson was not available for comments, PTI said.