Delhi fog, Mumbai affected: Fliers fume as operations hit | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Delhi fog, Mumbai affected: Fliers fume as operations hit

mumbai Updated: Jan 23, 2010 00:47 IST
Soubhik Mitra

Denzil Miranda watched the film, 3 Idiots, twice on his MP4 player on Friday.

The 27-year-old graphic artist is not a big fan of the film, but stuck at the Mumbai airport for over three hours on Friday that was the best option for the Delhi-bound traveller to kill time.

Miranda was among the hundreds of fliers stranded at the city airport because thick fog in the Capital affected his journey.

For the second consecutive day, bad weather disrupted flight schedules on the Mumbai-Delhi sector — the sixth busiest air corridor in the world.

“All arrivals were delayed by over an hour and outbound flights to Delhi were also running behind schedule,” said the Mumbai International Airport Limited spokesperson.

Around 280 flights operate between the two metros daily.

On Friday, two incoming flights and three departures were cancelled at the last moment.

Harassed by the inconvenience, fliers have flooded the Air Passenger Association of India (APAI), a national body formed by passengers, with fog-related complaints. The passengers’ body has received 30 complaints in the last two days.

Complainants have accused airlines of failing to adopt new technology and expertise for operations during fog.

“The Delhi airport is fully equipped for CAT III compliant operation which allows flight movements even in zero visibility. But many airlines have failed to train their pilots for the same,” said Sudhakar Reddy, national president, APAI. Most of the complaints were against Jet Airways.

Complaints have also been filed against low-cost carriers SpiceJet, Kingfisher Red, GoAir and Paramount Airways.

Reddy himself had a smooth journey on a CAT III compliant Kingfisher flight from Chennai to Delhi on a heavy fog day last week. “The flight was on schedule. I flew back on an Indigo Airline flight, which was also compliant for low visibility operations and there was no delay,” said Reddy, who plans ask the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to pull up airlines that are not CAT III compliant.

DGCA chief Nasim Zaidi did not respond to whether the regulator would take action against airlines not equipped for low visibility operation.