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Fog hits back,200 flights off schedule

After a brief hiatus,fog returned to the IGI Airport area with a vengeance early Tuesday,bringing flight operations to a halt for over two hours.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi |
January 14, 2009 12:57:27 am

After a brief hiatus,fog returned to the IGI Airport area with a vengeance early Tuesday,bringing flight operations to a halt for over two hours. Airport officials said as runway visual range fell to below 50 metres,more than 200 flights were delayed.

For Syed Inayat,the day couldn’t get worse. His flight from Jammu was delayed by more than three hours and he missed the connecting flight home,to Goa,in the mayhem. “The next Spicejet flight is on Wednesday,” he rued. And the delay comes dear for Inayat: besides cancellation charges of Rs 750,he will now have to pay for accommodation as well.

In Delhi on a business trip,Inayat said he could not get the flight information online: “They hadn’t updated — it’s very unprofessional.”

Ritwik Rajwani’s flight to Mumbai was meanwhile scheduled for a 2-pm departure. He reached the airport around 1 pm,and just when he thought he had ample time for a cup of coffee,Rajwani got a text message from the airlines: the flight was delayed till 5.30 pm. That was just the first irritant: at 4 pm,Rajwani was told his flight would take off at 6.30 pm as it hadn’t left from Jammu. The Spicejet flight to Mumbai finally left at 8 pm.

The arrival lounge of the domestic terminal was all chaos after 10.30 am,when visibility conditions improved. The air traffic controllers also reported a lot of air traffic congestion,with several scheduled flights waiting for clearance.

“My flight from Mumbai got delayed by two hours due to congestion at the Delhi airport,” Meera Jai Kumar said. “But even here,the wait at the conveyor belt to get my luggage was another hour.”

“Though the city was clear and sunny,the fog at IGI came with the western disturbances returning to the region,” R K Jenamani,director-in-charge,IGI Met Department,said.

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