Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Sun breaks fog cover, lifts fliers

Patna: Fliers at the Jayaprakash Narayan International Airport got relief on New Year's Day, as the Sun shone through the fog cover in the afternoon and then hung around till evening, opening the window for flights to operate and carry thousands of stranded passengers to home and work.

Passengers rushed to queue up and enter the terminal building as aircraft started flying and landing at the airport, bringing cheer to Airport Authority of India (AAI) and airlines officials alike.

"I was visiting my parents for just two days and got stuck in Patna for four days because of the continuous cancellation of flights," said Simmi Kumari, tears rolling down her eyes, as she waited for her turn to get inside the airport terminal to catch her flight.

"My husband and children were waiting for me in New Delhi to return. I felt like I died several times in the past few days," Simmi said.
However, six of the 27 flights that operate from Patna airport during winter were cancelled, adding to the backlog of stranded passengers.

These were Air India flight LLR 693 to Lucknow and IndiGo flights IGO 708 and 342 to Kolkata, IGO 508 to Delhi, IGO 902 to Bangalore and IGO 633 to Lucknow.

Airport director Rajender Singh Lahauria said the six flights did not operate because of planned cancellations by the airlines concerned and they had declared and informed their passengers accordingly.

"We were in anticipation today also, as visibility was just 500m till 9am. However, as the weather cleared and the Sun came out, landing of aircraft started at noon and the first aircraft took off around 12.30pm. Since then, passenger movement has been very good at the airport," Lahauria said.
02/01/18 Dev Raj/Telegraph