Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Mumbai’s runway woes spill over, disrupt flights in Hyd

Hyderabad: Air traffic to and from the city’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) went haywire on Tuesday, with Mumbai’s primary runway shut down late on Monday night. This was done after a SpiceJet flight overshot its mark while trying to land amid heavy rain.
At least 14 domestic flights from Hyderabad were cancelled even as several others suffered inordinate delays, running up to seven hours in some cases. According to information available on the airport’s official site, a SpiceJet flight to Delhi was delayed by close to 12 hours, owing to the cascading effect. Apart from Mumbai, the other sectors that were severely hit included Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Goa, and Rajahmundry, among others.

Multiple diversions further added to the mess. As many as 13 Mumbai-bound flights—including five international services—were re-routed to RGIA. The international sectors that were adversely impacted were Bangkok, Amsterdam, Bahrain, and Cairo.

While most flights resumed their journey later in the day, passengers travelling on the KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (from Amsterdam) were provided accommodation in the city for the day. The flight is expected to take off from Hyderabad today.

The massive disruption led to complete chaos at RGIA on Tuesday morning, with passengers seen running from pillar to post for an update on the status of their flights. Scenes of confusion unfolded at airline counters as staff failed to provide any clarity. “We understand the delay is unavoidable, but the airline staff should at least keep us informed. They keep saying they have no information. What are we to do?” said an infuriated passenger travelling with SpiceJet to Vizag. The flight was delayed by over five hours.
03/07/19 Sudipta Sengupta/Times of India
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