Monday, March 12, 2018

Air India flights had taken off for Kathmandu when US-Bangla airliner crashed

New Delhi: The closure of Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) for nearly three hours on Monday following the crash of a Bangladeshi airliner there affected fights of other airlines that fly to and from Nepal, including Indian airlines. Three Indian airlines — Air India, Jet and IndiGo — flying to Kathmandu had to be delayed, cancelled or diverted.
“The crash occurred at 2.20 pm and operations resumed at 5 pm,” said an airline official. Air India’s two flights had taken off for Kathmandu, one each from Delhi and Kolkata. They both had to return their origin cities. The Kolkata-Kathmandu flight took off later in the day once the runway opened," an official said.
IndiGo and Jet Airways’ flights from Delhi to Kathmandu were delayed for the same reason. Another Jet Airways aircraft was at TIA and scheduled to depart for Mumbai when the crash happened. This flight was also delayed.
According to initial reports shared with airlines that fly to Kathmandu, the ill-fated US-Bangla aircraft did not have any Indians on board. The turboprop had 67 passengers and four crew members on board. “Of the passengers, 33 were Nepalis; 32 Bangladeshis; and one each from China and Maldives. The four crew members were Bangladeshis,” said an official of an Indian airline based on the report from his team in Kathmandu.
12/03/18 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India