New Delhi: At least 20 flights were diverted and around 100 delayed between 6 am and 10 am as wind speeds touching as high as 75 km per hour disrupted operations at the Delhi airport.
Officials said a majority of the diversions took place between 6:30 and 9 am before normal operations resumed. Thirteen flights were diverted to Jaipur, two each to Lucknow and Amritsar, and one each to Ahmedabad, Mumbai, and Indore.
“This was largely on account of bad weather, with rain and strong winds…Strong winds can make it difficult to land aircraft, particularly during a thunderstorm spell,” said an official, who did not want to be named.
The Palam weather station reported wind speeds of 50 to 75 km per hour around 7 am. “A top speed of 75 km per hour was reported at 6:56 am at the Delhi airport. Such strong winds or wind shear make landing difficult,” said an India Meteorological Department official. The airport also reported 27.6 mm of rainfall till 8:30 am.
The flight disruptions began around 6 am and the normalcy was resumed from around 9 am. Officials said there was a cascading effect in terms of delays. The airport was packed as a result with the boarding process slowing down considerably between 7 and 9 am.
Yusuf Khan, a Mumbai-bound passenger, said their flight was delayed by over an hour. He said the passengers boarded the aircraft at 9:50 am, but it took off around 11 am.
Filmmaker Vinod Kapri’s flight was among those delayed. “Hello @IndiGo6E 5328 We were supposed to fly at 9.35 am. It has been 40 minutes now. Sitting inside the aircraft. No update. @DelhiAirport @AAI_Official,” he tweeted.
The flight was scheduled to take off at 9:35 am but eventually did so at 10:59 am.
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