Fog disrupts 63 flights at KIA

Fog disrupts 63 flights at KIA

Early morning fog at the Kempegowda International Aiport in Bengaluru on Tuesday. DH Photo

Dense fog once again enveloped the airfield at the Kempegowda International Airport here, disrupting as many as 63 flight operations early Monday morning. Hundreds of passengers had their plans go haywire due to the delays and diversions.

A total of 45 flights could not take off from the airport according to schedule. The arrival of 15 other flights were also delayed, according to a Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) spokesperson.

Three incoming flights were diverted to other airports. Among these was an IndiGo service from Mumbai. This flight, scheduled to land at 7.20 am, was diverted to Hyderabad. So was another IndiGo flight from Lucknow, scheduled to arrive at 8.40 am.

An international flight, Oman Air, scheduled to land at 9.05 am was diverted to Kochi. This airline was on its way from Muscat.

The visibility standby, issued as early as 1.30 am, was withdrawn only at 9.15 am. “It was so misty that even the Air Traffic Control (ATC) tower could not be seen,” said the spokesperson. The standby is declared when general visibility goes below 2,500 metres.

Back and forth 

Frustrated by the delays, Abhishek Patra, a passenger, took to social media to complain. He tweeted: “The 9.15 am flight 6E541 from Bengaluru to Chennai is delayed to 11.10 am.! How convenient? I will miss my meeting. No point travelling. Please refund my rountrip Bengaluru-Chennai.”

IndiGo responded, stating that flight was delayed due to congestion at the city airport. “We know flight delays are a pain and we really do regret the inconvenience,” the airline said.

However, Patra was not satisfied. He tweeted again to the airline: “Unfortunately, your people at ground are giving multiple reasons. The manager at ground didn’t even turn up to address the customers.”

To avoid further inconvenience, the airlines said they had alerted departing passengers to check their flight status before leaving for the airport from home. Hundreds of flight arrivals and departures at KIA are either delayed or diverted to other airports between mid-November and early February every year.