Hundreds of fliers spent several hours at the Mumbai airport, staring at blank flight display screens or cramped inside planes waiting to take off as thick fog in north India disrupted flight schedules on Friday.
Worst affected were business fliers taking early morning (6am to 9am) flights out of the city. “I cancelled a business trip to Delhi for the second time in less than two weeks owing to fog,” said Belapur resident Bikram Saxena, an executive with a telecom firm. “I am now planning to conduct meetings through video conferencing.”
A Jet Airways flight scheduled to reach Delhi at 8:55am reached the capital at 11:08 am. Similarly, a city-bound Jet Airways flight scheduled to leave from Delhi at 6:50am took off at 9:12am.
“About 20 corporate travellers flying to Delhi cancelled their trips on Friday morning as they were likely to miss their meetings,” said Marzban Antia, managing committee member, Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI).
The early morning delays impacted flight schedules till evening, said airport officials. “Departures were delayed by 90 minutes on an average while arrivals were delayed by more than two hours,” said a Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) spokesperson.