A thick fog enveloped the national capital on Friday morning delaying 450 flights and forced diversion of at least five aircraft to other destinations.
Departures were put on hold from 5:00 am till about 10:30 am as visibility dipped to 50 meters on the runways of the Indira Gandhi International Airport the early hours of the day.
Arrivals were happening only intermittently between 6 am and 7.20 am, an airport spokesman said.
Five flights were diverted between 5.30 am and 10.20 am from the airport. One of the flights was coming from Singapore and it was diverted to Kolkata, he said.
Four flights – coming from Bangkok, Dubai, Guwahati and Muscat, respectively – were diverted to Jaipur between 7.30 am and 10.20 am, he said.
“Due to dense fog and poor visibility in Delhi, delays are expected for both arrivals and departures with likely consequential impact on flights across the network. Currently, flight departures from Delhi are on hold and will resume by 0930 hrs subject to weather clearance,” Air Vistara said on it's Twitter handle.
An airport spokesman said very few aircraft were departing on Friday morning and that too on the basis of their size, visibility and ATC (air traffic control) clearance for taking off.
Since there were no departures happening in the morning, many aircraft were stranded in the taxiways waiting for a parking bay.
“Due to bad weather at Bengaluru (BLR) and Delhi (DEL), all departures/arrivals and their consequential flights might get affected. The passengers are requested to keep a check on their flight status,” SpiceJet said.
At the Delhi airport, the minimum runway visibility required to take off is 125 metres.
The airport was facing low visibility conditions since 4 am due to dense fog.
“The visibility significantly improved between 9.20 am and 10.20 am which allowed us to resume departures properly from 10.20 am onward,” an airport official said.