updated 11/27/2007 4:48:18 PM ET 2007-11-27T21:48:18

An Indian consumer court has ruled that airlines must compensate passengers for flight delays and sudden cancellations that cause mental agony and harassment, a news report said Tuesday.

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Justice J. D. Kapoor ordered private airline, Go Air, to pay 15,000 rupees ($380) each as compensation to the passengers who had booked tickets on a New Delhi-Mumbai flight last February, the Hindustan Times reported.

The flight was canceled at the last minute without any explanation, according to complainant Yogesh Kumar, a New Delhi resident, the news report said.

Kapoor, who heads the New Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redress Commission, said only delays beyond the airlines' control like bad weather were exempted, the daily reported.

Kapoor could not be immediately reached for comment.

Private airlines are growing in India to meet the demand of a skyrocketing aviation sector with rising incomes putting air travel within the reach of millions of new customers.

However, passenger complaints over flight delays and cancellations have been mounting, leading to protest demonstrations at various airports, including inside the aircraft.

As many as 10 state-run Air India flights to New York, London and Toronto were delayed last week because of technical snags and because pilots were not available.

India will likely need more than 900 new passenger jets over the next 20 years to meet the growing demand for air travel, making it one of the world's largest markets for new jets, Boeing Co. said in its latest market outlook for India.

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