Pune Airport: Fog delays 18 flights

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With fog enveloping the city Friday morning, about 18 flights, including outgoing and incoming, were affected at the Pune airport. Flights that usually begin from 5.55 am to 8 am had to be grounded because of the low visibility.

Flights coming in from places like Chennai and Bangalore too were delayed and were allowed to land only once civilian aircraft traffic resumed after 10 am. Pune Airport Director PSR K Sudhakar said, "We have around six to eight departures daily and around 3-4 arrivals early morning till 8 am. After that the airport is shut for civilian operations till 10 am for the Air Force Station. However, delays in morning owing to the fog not only affected the early morning flights but even the ones after 10 am."

Some of the flights that were delayed included Hyderabad-bound Jet Airways, which was scheduled to leave at 6 am, but left at 9.49 am. Indigo flights to Nagpur and Chennai, which usually leave at 5.55 am daily, left at 9.45 am and 9.38 am respectively.

"The Spice Jet flight that goes to Chennai at 6.50 am left at 11.10 am and the one going to Bangalore left at 10.50 am instead of 7.25 am. The arrivals were also hit. The Jet Airways flight from Chennai, scheduled for 7.10 am, arrived at 11.38 am. Many other flights arrived only after 11 am," added Sudhakar.

Air India operates a morning flight to Delhi six days a week. Dhairsheel Wandekar, Air India, station manager, said, "We have a flight out early morning everyday. But the flight doesn't operate on Fridays. So we weren't affected."

However, the spillover effect lasted even after 10 am as the flights that were scheduled to take off then were also delayed.

Sudhakar said, "The flights were delayed by half an hour to 20 minutes depending on the manner in which we could accommodate them. There were no cancellations though. It was a little difficult owing to the pattern of delays due to the fog blanket, but all flights did take off and arrive, though delayed."

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