NEW DELHI: Thirty-five flights to Delhi were diverted to nearby airports and operations remained paralysed for almost an hour this evening as a dust storm, accompanied by strong gusty winds, hit the national capital, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) said.
The AAI said the Air Traffic Control (ATC) at the Delhi airport managed the diversions and ensured return of the flights safely and in an orderly and expeditious manner.
"Due to inclement weather in Delhi, 35 flights were diverted to nearby airports.
Flights could not be operated at @DelhiAirport from 5PM to 5:57PM.
Our Delhi ATC managing diversions & bringing back diverted flights in safe, orderly & expeditious manner.
Safe flights our prime aim," it tweeted.
This is the second time this season that such a large number of flights were diverted.
On Over 70 flights were diverted after a major storm hit the city on May 14.
On today's diversions, Vistara's chief strategy officer Sanjiv Kapur in a tweet said that the diverted flights included seven of Air India, five each of IndiGo and GoAir, three each of Jet Airways and Vistara and one each of Air Arabia, SpiceJet, Air Asia India, Sri Lankan, and Cathay Cargo.
"Tough day, weather this season has been rough and major airports bursting at their seams," Kapur tweeted.
The AAI, in a second tweet, said that Guru Ram Das Ji International Airport in Amritsar witnessed a higher flow in air traffic due to the diversions from Delhi.
"To be well prepared for future, 10 more parking bays are being constructed at the airport taking the total no.to 24. Sheds also being constructed for travellers," it said.