NEW DELHI: Sudden strong winds hit the operations at the Indira Gandhi International airport here as flying debris damaged five aircraft and forced the diversion of 24 planes to other nearby destinations.
Five aircraft -- two of SpiceJet, one each of Air India, GoAir and BlueDart -- suffered damaged after they were hit by some flying objects, airport sources said, adding a portion of the roof of Terminal 1D was also blown away.
They said there was no report of any injury to any passenger or airline staff.
As the gale hit the airport around 5.30 PM, some flying objects hit an Air India plane, a Boeing 777, parked at the remote bay, they said.
The wing tip of the aircraft suffered damage after it was hit by some flying objects that was carried by the winds.
However, airline officials said the damage was minor and the plane would be ready for operations after small repair work.
Two SpiceJet planes - Boeing 737s - parked at the airport's parking bay suffered damage.
One of the planes was hit by a step ladder, kept near the aircraft, while another by some flying debris, airport sources said, adding a freight plane of a private courier company BlueDart and a GoAir aircraft were also damaged.
The airline operators were assessing the extent of damage, they said.
The strong wind, which according to MeT officials, had a speed of around 90 km per hour, forced the planes coming to Delhi to be diverted to Jaipur, Chandigarh and Lucknow, while some were asked to take go-around.
Around 24 inbound flights were diverted, including four of the Jet Airways.
According to airport sources, a portion of the roof of the Terminal 1D, from where all the low cost carriers operate, was blown away in the strong wind.