Fani: Prabhu asks airport authorities to stay alert

Other states on the eastern coast, such as West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, are also expected to be affected by the cyclone. PTI photo

Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu on Thursday said all authorities concerned have been alerted so that they are ready to deal with cyclone Fani.

The extremely severe cyclonic storm is expected to hit the Odisha coast on Friday.

Other states on the eastern coast, such as West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, are also expected to be affected by the cyclone.

"Alerted all concerned to be ready to deal with Cyclone Fani. Airport Authority of India issued alert to all coastal airports to ensure all precautions, SOPs (standard operating procedures) put in place immediately," Prabhu tweeted.

The Airports Authority of India owns and manages over 100 airports across the country.

The situation will be monitored at highest level and "airlines and all others (are) to be fully ready", Prabhu said.

The operations of various domestic airlines have already been affected due to the oncoming cyclone.

IndiGo issued a travel advisory on Twitter, saying "due to Cyclone Fani, flights to and from Visakhapatnam have been cancelled for today (May 2, 2019)".

The low-cost carrier, which has around 44 per cent of domestic passenger market share, also advised passengers to go to one of its website links "to opt for alternate options or get a refund".

Vistara airline also issued a travel update on Twitter.

It said as Fani is likely to impact Bhubaneswar and Kolkata on May 2 and May 3, it is waiving "change and cancellation fee" for flights that will depart or arrive from these two cities between May 2 and May 5.

"Fare difference if any, will be applicable for date changes," the full-service carrier said.

Vistara has around four per cent of domestic passenger market share.

Fani lays centred over West Central Bay of Bengal, about 430 km south-southwest of Puri in Odisha, 225 km south-southeast of Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and 650 km south-southwest of Digha in West Bengal, as per the latest bulletin of the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

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