CHENNAI: As Dubai International airport is allowing only big aircraft in its lone runway after an Emirates flight crash landed on the runway and caught fire, many airlines in India have been hit with some cancelling their flights while few re-routing to Sharjah Airport.
Airlines like Spicejet and Indigo have cancelled their flights from Chennai to Dubai while Air India has rescheduled its flight which was to depart at 7.15 pm to 11.30 pm. Dubai International Airport has said Boeing 737 or Airbus A320 and below would not be allowed.
A release from Spicejet and Indigo said they won’t be operating any flights to Dubai till Friday morning. The cancellation and delay has affected the itinerary of international passengers. Jet Airways too also cancelled some of its flights.
An Air India spokesman told Express that its Dubai flight, scheduled at 7.15 pm would now take off to Sharjah by 11.15 pm. “The delay is because we have to seek slots from Sharjah airport to land. Since they have given us the slot, the flight is delayed by four hours and 15 minutes,” the spokesman added. He said Air India, keeping in mind passengers’ needs, would be operating its flight to Sharjah and provide road transport so that they can reach Dubai without further delay.
Delay in the arrival of Dubai flight has also affected Air India’s flight to Port Blair on Thursday morning by nearly four hours.
Meanwhile, Chennai Airport also faced a threat of stir from employees belonging to ground handler Bhadra.
In the morning there were less staff and this could have affected the schedules of some aircraft. But Chennai airport director denied any delay due to the incident. He said there was a threat by the employees to go on stir but it was solved within couple of hours. Earlier, passengers waiting to board their international flights to Dubai had to endure the agony of cancellation as well as delays by several hours.
Flights from Emirate Airlines, which is currently operating to Dubai, was delayed by nearly six hours.
Spicejet in a statement said, “We are taking all possible measures towards passenger convenience and ensuring food and refreshments are being provided to all of them. Our flights to Dubai have been diverted to the following airports - Al Maktoum International Airport, Ras Al Khaimah International Airport and Sharjah International Airport. We are arranging alternate mode of travel from these airports so that our passengers can reach Dubai city.”