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Fliers stranded at Delhi airport after airspace closure, 47 flights cancelled

A group of 28 Chinese tourists, a couple from Afghanistan, a family from Baramulla in Kashmir and a bunch of travellers from Delhi were among the scores of passengers stranded at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) Wednesday due to airspace restrictions.

delhi Updated: Feb 28, 2019 07:25 IST
Anvit Srivastava
Anvit Srivastava
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The closure forced 47 flight cancellations, including 25 departures and 22 arrivals. The Delhi airport operator said four flights destined for other airports were also diverted to Delhi, two of them domestic and two international.(Sanjeev Verma/HT Photo)

A group of 28 Chinese tourists, a couple from Afghanistan, a family from Baramulla in Kashmir and a bunch of travellers from Delhi were among the scores of passengers stranded at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) Wednesday due to airspace restrictions.

Lily, a manager at a private company in Beijing, said her group had planned to go to Lahore on vacation after their India trip. “Our flight PK 271 was scheduled to depart at 3.30 pm. When we arrived at Terminal 3, we found the flight was cancelled. We checked out from our hotel and now would need to get another hotel for a day,” she said. Her friend Duj said the group was now thinking of going to Sri Lanka and board a flight to Lahore from there.

Around 8.30 am on Wednesday, a ‘Notice to Airmen (NOTAM)’ was issued, conveying that flights to Amritsar, Pathankot, Srinagar, Jammu, Shimla, Dharamshala, Kullu and Leh stood cancelled. Six hours later, this was lifted.

The closure forced 47 flight cancellations, including 25 departures and 22 arrivals. The Delhi airport operator – DIAL (Delhi International Airport Ltd) — said four flights destined for other airports were also diverted to Delhi, two of them domestic and two international.

A couple from Kabul was among the affected. “My flight RQ 916 to Kabul was cancelled. I was here to visit Delhi with my wife and children. We were staying at Bhogal with a friend. I will book tickets by another flight now,” said Mohammad Ishaq, a 34-year-old garment businessman from Kabul.

Jayant Chandra, who was flying to Srinagar from Delhi with his mother, said there was no prior information. “The cancellation was at the last moment. It was a waste of time and now we are looking forward to get the refund,” said Chandra, a college student.

First Published: Feb 28, 2019 02:31 IST