United Airlines on Sunday resumed flights from Newark, New Jersey to New Delhi, according to the airline’s website, after suspending the service temporarily over concerns about poor air quality in the national capital.
UA flight 82 had been cancelled on Friday and Saturday, data from flight-tracking website FlightRadar24 showed, while the airline’s website said it had waiver policies in place for passengers traveling to, from or through Delhi until Monday.
A United spokesman had earlier said flights had been suspended temporarily over poor air quality concerns. He said the third-largest US carrier was monitoring advisories as the New Delhi region remained under a public health emergency, and was coordinating with respective government agencies.
Last week, New Delhi declared a pollution emergency as toxic smog hung over the city for days, with tourism operators reporting cancellation of bookings for the Christmas holidays. The United website showed flight UA 82 had departed at 21:07 EST (02:07 GMT), as did the Newark airport’s website.
Verisk Maplecroft, a risk consultancy firm, said India had the worst air quality out of a list of 198 countries it measures, and that New Delhi ranked among the world’s top 10 most polluted cities with many urban areas around the capital also among those with the worst air quality. “At the national level, India tops the index rankings (i.e. the country with the worst air quality), followed by Bangladesh and Thailand,” said Richard Hewston, Verisk Maplecroft’s global head of environment and climate change.
A US embassy measure of PM 2.5 showed a reading of 481 in New Delhi on Monday morning. The outer limit of “good” air is 50.