Operations at the Delhi airport saw massive disruption on Thursday as total 38 flights were diverted to nearby cities between 6 pm and 8.45 pm and several were facing departure delays of more than two hours due to severe rain and hailstorm in the national capital, according to officials.
Operations of smaller aircraft such as Bombardier and ATR were suspended for a while due to strong winds but resumed later, the officials said.
"Looks almost like snow in Delhi! Massive disruption to flights with multiple diversions across airlines. Customers are requested to be patient, really not in staff or airline control," tweeted Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Strategy and Commercial Officer, Vistara airlines.
A Delhi airport official said that 23 domestic flights and nine international flights were diverted to nearby cities between 6 pm and 8.45 pm. Remaining six flights that were diverted were either private jets or belonged to the Indian Air Force.
Among those diverted was a chartered plane carrying Haryana Chief Minister Monohar Lal Khattar. Khattar's chartered plane was flying from Jodhpur to Delhi but it was diverted to Jaipur. He later left for Delhi in a regular flight, Jaipur airport director JS Balhara said.
"In between 6 pm and 7 pm, nine flights were diverted to Jaipur airport. In the same time period, three flights each were diverted to Lucknow airport and Amritsar airport. Two flights were diverted to Varanasi and one flight to Indore in this one-hour period," the Delhi airport official said.
"Due to extremely bad weather, many of the flights are facing a departure delay of more than two hours," he added.
According to another airport official, four out of the nine flights diverted to Jaipur were of Air India. "These four flights of Air India were heading to Delhi from Varanasi, Kathmandu, Dubai and Kabul," he said.
Heavy rains and hailstorm accompanied by strong winds lashed the national capital this evening and brought the mercury down by four to five notches.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)