Normal flight operations to Europe from the Delhi airport resumed on Thursday. Respite, however, is still not in sight for the thousands of stranded passengers.
Flight operations to Europe and even US and Canada were disrupted for the last one week due to a volcanic eruption in Iceland.
Airlines such as Air India, Kingfisher, Jet Airways and Virgin Atlantic resumed flights to London Heathrow from Thursday after opening of the European airspace.
The huge backlog of passengers, however, will still take some time to clear. Airlines are planning to use bigger aircraft or operate additional flights to cater to the rush.
Though airlines have advised passengers to first call the airline helplines and get their tickets confirmed before coming to the airport, many are still landing up at the Indira Gandhi International Airport to try and board the first flight home.
“We have been asking the passengers to come to the airport only after we contact them. They can call the airline number and get themselves listed,” said a senior Air India official, who wished to remain anonymous.
To manage the rush, Virgin Atlantic put up helpdesks outside the airport’s departure terminal. The customer care executives had a tough time dealing with harried passengers and heated arguments ensued.
Dr B Shrestha, a paediatrician from London, came to the airport with three of her colleagues to take a Virgin Atlantic flight. Their name, however, was not on the list of the lucky passengers.
The group of doctors had come to India for Easter holidays and were supposed to leave on April 17.