Saturday, November 11, 2017

United Airlines suspends flights to smog-filled Delhi

New Delhi: The capital's toxin air is making it a virtual no-go destination for people from cleaner environs.
America's mega carrier United has temporarily suspended flights to Delhi due to the "public health emergency" here. On Saturday morning when its daily Newark-Delhi flight was approaching IGI Airport, something that will now happen again only when the city's air clears up a bit, the airline handed over "smog masks" to all passengers on board so that they are equipped to take on the toxicity that awaits them on arrival.
Tunku Varadarajan, a Stanford University research fellow who was on this flight, said passengers panicked about Delhi's air on getting the mask. "United made an announcement about the high levels of smog in New Delhi before touchdown, including information about visibility levels... the captain told passengers that, (the airline had) face masks for everyone. A flight attendant then came down to our aisle and handed each of us a mask. Many passengers looked panic-stricken. Certainly, the effect was quite dramatic," Varadarajan said.
11/11/17 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India