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regular-article-logo Monday, 24 June 2024

Cyclone Remal: Calcutta airport resumes operations after 21 hours, crosswinds disrupt afternoon flights

Airport officials said nearly 200 overflying flights took routes to avoid Calcutta between Sunday afternoon and Monday morning because of the cyclone

Sanjay Mandal Calcutta Published 28.05.24, 06:45 AM
Representational image

Representational image File image

Flight operations at the Calcutta airport resumed at 9am on Monday after a 21-hour shutdown, but strong crosswinds triggered by Cyclone Remal caused disruptions and 12 flights had to be diverted.

Flight operations at the city airport were suspended between Sunday noon
and Monday morning as a precaution. Operations resumed at 8.59am on Monday with an IndiGo flight taking off for Port Blair, said an airport official.

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The first arrival was at 9.50am when a SpiceJet flight from Guwahati landed.

Flight disruptions on Monday started at 1.15pm.

“Between 1.15pm and 3.30pm, 12 flights had to be diverted because of strong crosswinds. The crosswind makes landing of aircraft, particularly, the smaller ones like ATR, risky,” said the official. Two flights also had to hover before landing.

Airport officials said nearly 200 overflying flights took routes to avoid Calcutta between Sunday afternoon and Monday morning because of the cyclone.

“They flew over Calcutta’s air traffic area, but avoided the city’s sky,” said an official.

Although flight operations resumed, the cancellation of nearly 400 flights in and out of the city, had many passengers stranded.

A group of 21 tourists on a 14-day trip to Lake Districts were scheduled to take an Emirates flight to Dubai and then onwards to London on Sunday. They could not go as the flight was cancelled.

“The rebooking has been done on a May 29 flight. The trip will be shortened because of this,” said one of the group members.

Saptorshi Datta, an IT consultant from Calcutta, is in Dubai and was scheduled to return on May 27 morning.“I received a message from Emirates about the cancellation of the flight,” said Datta.

His travel agent said Datta had been rebooked on a flight on May 28 morning.

Businessman Sanjay Budhia, who was on a six-day trip to the US and Mexico, reached Delhi from New York on an Air India flight on Sunday morning.

“After reaching Delhi, I got a message from the airline that the flight to Calcutta was cancelled,” said Budhia.

“I was stuck in Delhi for a day and checked in a hotel,” he said.

On Monday, he booked an IndiGo flight to Calcutta. However, the flight had to make a go around for one and a half hours over Calcutta because of the weather conditions.

“The pilot announced that because of bad weather, no flight was able to land. The flight was hovering for more than an hour and finally, when it landed, all passengers were clapping,” said Budhia.

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