DGCA begins probe into diversion of flight

While the private carrier had taken permission for diverting Friday’s Lucknow-Delhi flight to Patna from air traffic control and Airports Authority of India, it did not do so from the DGCA which approves flight schedules, officials said.

“The reasons for not operating Delhi-Patna-Delhi and not obtaining clearance from DGCA for diverting Delhi-Lucknow -Delhi to Delhi-Lucknow-Patna-Delhi is being investigated,” the officials said.

The diversion, which caused a delay of over three hours, triggered protests by passengers who claimed they were not informed about it and had missed connecting flights to other destinations from Delhi.

The officials said GoAir had planned to operate three flights on Delhi-Patna-Delhi sector to transfer about 450 Haj Pilgrims on Friday. The aircraft was to operate ferry services from Delhi past midnight. These operations were approved by the Civil Aviation Ministry and the DGCA.

But due to poor visibility at the Patna Airport, the ferry aircraft was not dispatched from Delhi as scheduled. Because of the the subsequent delay, only two flights were sent to Patna to bring Haj pilgrims to Delhi.

The scheduled Delhi-Lucknow-Delhi flight was diverted then from Lucknow to Patna to transfer pilgrims to ensure their onward connection from Delhi.

While GoAir had obtained clearance from the ATC and the Airports Authority for this diversion, no clearance was obtained from DGCA. This was being investigated, according to officials. 

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