Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Airlines ignore directives on fog, delays

It turned out to be a bad New Year’s day for air travellers at the Indira Gandhi International Airport on Monday. Several flights were cancelled due to thick fog.
To make matters worse, several airline operators did not comply with guidelines issued by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
Many were stranded as flights were delayed by up to five hours and airlines did not inform them about the rescheduling of flights. Airline operators, according to passengers, refused to cooperate and help them out.
“They did not even provide us with refreshments despite the long delays,’ a passenger said.
The DGCA has directed all airlines to regularly monitor the fog situation from the Met Department and Air Traffic Control and reschedule their flights accordingly. They have been told to inform their passengers about the flight status.
“The directives, however, remain ineffective as the airlines are following them halfheartedly or not at all,” said a senior DGCA official.
Airlines, however, claim that they are following all DGCA directives. Spokespersons of IndiGo, Air Deccan and SpiceJet said that they provide snacks to stranded passengers. They also claim that they inform passengers about delays, rescheduling and cancellations in time.
01/01/07 Sidhartha Roy/Hindustan Times

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