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Winter on way out, flights set to return
- Rise in temperature encourages airlines to resume suspended services

Airlines are gearing up to resume services of their suspended flights from mid-February, as the winter is about to make way for spring.

IndiGo has resumed the operation of its Delhi-Patna-Ranchi-Delhi flight (6E 494) from this week, while GoAir has started operating a new flight (G8-541/542) on the Patna-Calcutta route from Tuesday. The flight, an Airbus 320 aircraft, arrives here at 3.35pm and departs at 4pm. Air India is expected to resume its morning Delhi-Patna flight from either February 16 or the last week of this month.

Most airlines cancel their morning flights and introduce afternoon services from the first week of November under the winter schedule because planes are not allowed to land at the airport here before 10am because of foggy conditions with the onset of winter. The flight operators resume the morning services in February, as the winter retreats.

The Met department said the winter is expected to be over in the third week of February. “The temperatures have increased in the past two days. If the minimum temperature remains four to five notches above normal or above 13°C for five to six consecutive days, one can say the winter conditions have withdrawn. Such a condition is expected around early third week of this month,” said Ashish Sen, director, India Meteorological Department, Patna.

The rising trend in temperatures has encouraged the airlines to resume their suspended flight services. A senior executive of Air India said: “We had temporarily suspended the operation of one of our three Delhi-bound flights (AI 407/408) under our winter schedule, which would end on February 15. A We are yet to be communicated about its resumption, but its booking is open from February 16.”

According to schedule, AI 407 is supposed to depart from Delhi at 1pm and land here at 2.35pm. The same aircraft would fly back to Delhi at 3.05pm and reach the national capital at 4.55pm.

The airline would also revise the timing of its another Delhi-bound flight (AI 409/410). At present, it arrives here at 11.45am and departs at 12.15pm. From February 16, it would arrive here at 8.50am and depart at 9.25am.

IndiGo’s suspended Delhi-Patna-Ranchi-Delhi flight (6E 494) has started landing in the city again from this week. “At present, it is scheduled to arrive here at 11.45am and depart at 12.15pm. It would start operating on its original schedule — arrival at 8.35am and departure at 9.05am — from February 11,” said an executive of IndiGo.

There would be no rescheduling of Jet Airways flights this month, though. A senior executive of the airline said its winter schedule would be in effect till March 31.

The flight operations remained comparatively smoother here this winter because of relaxation in the visibility criterion for flight operations from 1,600m to 1,200m. “The visibility criterion of 1,200m for landing is met by around 9am these days and conditions are expected to be the same unless there is any temporary spell of rain,” said a senior meteorologist.


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