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50 Intl, National Flights Delayed Due To Operational Reasons

PTI 03 Jan 2010, 19:42:23 IST

Operations at the IGI airport, which began smoothly on a relatively clear day on Sunday , were affected later in the day as over 50 international and domestic flights were delayed and about 15 cancelled due to operational reasons. 

"The day started smoothly, a day after dense fog played havoc leading to delay and cancellation of several flights, as the runway visibility was more than 1,600 metres due to relatively clear day this morning," an airport official said. 

But, as the day progressed, the airlines cancelled 15 domestic and international flights due to operational reasons. Over 50 others were delayed by upto three hours, he said. 

Thirteen flights of SpiceJet, Jet Airways and Kingfisher airlines to Amritsar, Leh, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Srinagar and Kolkata and two international flights to Amsterdam and London were cancelled either due to bad weather condition at the destinations or other operational reasons. 

According to the sources, due to non availability of aircraft, the airlines were finding it difficult to maintain their schedule, which went haywire yesterday due to dense fog and glitch in the cable of runway visual range measuring instrument leading to a halt in air operations for over eight hours. Though there was fog around midnight, the sky cleared by morning and operations were normal. 

Some international flights were diverted to other cities and departure of some was delayed by up to three hours due to fog as the runway visibility was less than 150 metres, they said. 

According to MeT department, the runway visibility range (RVR) was recorded at 2,000 metres for the main runway and at 1,600 metres for new runway in the morning. 

As the day progressed, the RVR continued to fluctuate but it never caused any problem to flight operations and by the evening the RVR increased to more than 2,000 metres for both the runways, they said. 

Meanwhile, passengers whose flights were cancelled or delayed thronged the reservation counters for alternative flights. They also alleged about the poor treatment from the airline staffs at the counters. 

"I have been waiting here since last night. I had to go to Bhubaneshwar but yesterday my flight was cancelled and I had to stay at the airport. They refused to provide seat in an alternate flight and when I got one in another airlines, they are dilly-dallying in refunding my money," A K Misra, who had arrived here from Mumbai yesterday, told PTI.

Over 200 flights were either delayed by up to five hours or rescheduled or diverted to various destinations yesterday when thick fog and a cable fault, that had rendered the Runway Visual Range (RVR) equipment on two runways unserviceable, disrupted the flight operations.

Jet Airways today deployed two Airbus A-330 aircraft on Chenni-Colombo and Delhi-Dubai sectors in a bid to clear the backlog of passengers who could not fly due to fog. PTI