New Delhi: Nearly 60 flights were diverted and many more were delayed at the Delhi airport on Thursday, as dense fog continued to affect flight operations for the third day in a row. The airport sources said that most of the flights that were diverted were operated by domestic airlines, whose pilots were not trained to operate flights in low visibility conditions.
The airport sources said that a total of 58 flights were diverted between 0000 hours of December 25 to 0600 hours of December 28, due to bad weather. The flights were diverted to nearby airports, such as Jaipur, Lucknow, and Indore. The sources said that 13 flights of IndiGo, 10 flights of Air India, and 10 flights of SpiceJet were among the flights that were diverted. Other airlines that faced diversions were Vistara, Akasa Air, and Alliance Air.
The Delhi airport, which is the country’s largest airport and handles more than 1,300 flights daily, issued a fog alert on social media platform X on Wednesday. The alert said that while landing and takeoffs were continuing at the airport, flights that were not CAT III compliant may be affected. CAT III refers to the category of flight operations in low visibility conditions, which requires special equipment and training for the pilots and the airport. The alert also requested the passengers to contact the concerned airline for updated flight information and regretted any inconvenience caused. Similar alerts were issued on Tuesday as well.
The national capital has been experiencing dense fog in the past few days, especially in the early morning hours. The fog has reduced visibility to less than 50 meters in some places, affecting road and rail traffic as well. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast that the foggy conditions will continue for the next few days and advised people to avoid unnecessary travel.