Almost all airlines cancelled a majority of flights to Bhubaneswar and Visakhapatnam in the wake of cyclone Phailin that made the landfall on the east coast on Saturday evening.
Director of the Biju Patnaik Airport Sarat Kumar told the media 15 of the 20 flights have been cancelled and will remain cancelled till the weather improves.
Heavy rains and very fast winds wrecked havoc in Bhubaneswar even before the cyclone hit the coast.
“The weather is getting worse due to the cyclone. And for passenger safety, flights will remain cancelled till it improves. Permission for landing is subject to weather conditions,” he said.
India’s national carrier Air India said it had cancelled its daily flights to the two cities. The airline said operations will continue to be affected till the situation normalised. It, however, said its Kolkata flights were operating as per schedule.
IndiGo, the largest domestic carrier, said it had cancelled flights from Bhubaneswar and was constantly monitoring the situation.
“Due to adverse weather conditions, we have cancelled some flights to and from Bhubaneswar. We have operated two flights to Bhubaneswar in the morning one each from Delhi and Kolkata. Passengers are requested to pre-check their respective flight schedules to avoid any last minute hassle,” IndiGo said in a statement.
Jet Airways website said the Bhubaneswar-Bangalore flight had been cancelled while Vishakhapatnam flights to Mumbai and Chennai took off as scheduled.
“We are keeping a watch on the situation,” said an official at the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, India’s aviation regulator.
“Airports have a standard operating procedure in place to deal with such situations and would act accordingly,” he added.