Fog fallout: huge delays in flights, train services (Lead)

December 30th, 2008 - 6:03 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 30 (IANS) Flights and train services in the capital stayed awry Tuesday, a result of the thick fog that enveloped the region in the morning. Over 100 flights to and from Delhi were delayed and nine cancelled since midnight, an airport official said late in the afternoon.Nine early morning flights to Mumbai, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Srinagar, Bhubaneshwar, Leh and Bangalore were cancelled. Kingfisher Airlines, Jet Airways and Air India faced most cancellations. Low-cost carriers Indigo, Jetlite and GoAir were also hit.

About 19 flights were cancelled and nearly 200 flights were delayed by fog Monday. Meteorological department officials said foggy conditions would continue for two to three days more.

The runway visibility range (RVR) at the capital’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport dipped to less than 50 metres in the morning, below the required minimum of 100 metres for flight operations. The general visibility condition in the area also fell below 100 metres, the airport official said.

The fog lifted by noon, but the delays continued as airport and railway authorities struggled to clear the backlogs.

The minimum temperature was 8 degrees Celsius Tuesday, while the maximum temperature was 20.8 degrees Celsius.

“On this day last year, the maximum temperature was 22 degrees Celsius and the minimum 4 degrees Celsius,” a meteorological office spokesman said.

So far, the coldest day of this winter has been Dec 13, with the minimum temperature dipping to 6.4 degrees Celsius.

Train services and road traffic also suffered due to the reduced visibility in the morning. The woes of passengers at the airport and railway stations were compiounded as the authorities failed to update them on the extent of the delay, keeping thousands of people on tenterhooks.

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