CHENNAI: Five flights - two arrivals to and three departures from Chennai Airport - were delayed by the heavy downpour early morning Monday. Two Chennai-bound international flights were diverted to Bengaluru because of heavy rain. Qatar Airways flight from Dubai with 294 passengers and Air Sri Lanka flight carrying 67 passengers from Colombo were both scheduled to land at the Chennai International airport at around 2 am on Monday. But because of the lashing rain the flights had to be diverted to Bengaluru and returned at 4:45am and 4:30am respectively.
According to officials the air traffic controllers had put the aircraft in a holding pattern for a few minutes as the runway experienced gusts of wind and sheets of rain. Later the flights were diverted to Bengaluru.
Three other flights - Cathay Pacific, Air India Express and Air Asia - that were scheduled to take off between 2:20am and 3am, had to wait for two hours till the visibility cleared. Passengers waiting to board these flights were stranded by the last minute changes. However officials say it was better than putting their lives at risk.