After fliers’ first brush with fog-induced disruptions in north India this winter on Thursday, more than 100 fliers who were to travel to Goa on an IndiGo Airlines flight were held up at the city airport for almost five hours. This, the officials said, was a cascading effect of the airline schedules disrupted due to poor visibility in the north.
Indigo was forced to hold back 18 peak morning flights (up to 11 am) from Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International airport wherein the runway visibility had dropped.
The unplanned wait for the Mumbai-Goa flight led to a heated verbal exchange with the airline crew, said the passengers. The flight 6E-711 was scheduled for take-off at 1:30 pm. But it was rescheduled owing to fog-induced flights disruption primarily in Delhi. “I got a message about the revised take-off time minutes before leaving for the airport but many of my co-travellers had reached the airport by noon,” said Krishna Hegde, a passenger and an ex-Congress legislator.
At 4 pm, the passengers were made to board the flight but it did not take off in another 90 minutes, added the passengers. “The crew tried to get a passenger off loaded when he protested against the wait and poor communication,” alleged Hegde. “But they were unable to bully the passenger as many of us supported him,” he added.
The flight finally took off around 5.45 pm.
A statement from the airline confirmed that there a delay of its flight 6E-711 from Mumbai to Goa. “IndiGo flight 6E-713 from Kolkata to Varanasi was delayed due to low visibility at Varanasi airport. As the weather conditions were below the operating minima, the flight timings of 6E-711 was revised to 2.50pm (scheduled time of departure was 1.45pm). All passengers booked on 6E-711 flight were informed by the staff of this consequential delay due to the change in weather.”
Officials from the airline said that weather conditions at Varanasi continued to be the same and the schedule was further revised. “At the same time, the Goa airport’s runway was shut between 4.30pm to 5.30 hours. This caused further delay of the flight. It took off from Mumbai at 5.34pm and reached Goa at 6.43pm with 175 passengers on board,” stated an official.
Read more: Dense fog engulfs Delhi, flights affected