Smog grounds United Airlines flights to Delhi

12 November, 2017, 05:50 | Author: Leticia Walters
  • See how bad Delhi's pollution

United Airlines has cancelled its flights to Delhi for two days due to bad air quality in the national capital.

Posting an official notice on their website, United said it was issuing waivers for customers who planned to travel to, from or through New Delhi between November 9 and 13.

The spokesperson also said the airline is monitoring advisories as the region remains under a public health emergency, and is coordinating with respective government agencies.

Passengers will be given vouchers to switch flights, or given assistance in flying with a different airline. United Airline, while issuing a travel waiver for its customers with tickets to Delhi from November 9 through November 13, said customers could re-book these tickets on or before November 18 at no additional cost.

It is not known if competing airlines like Virgin Atlantic, Etihad and KLM offered any similar waiver.

Computer glitches, security issues, refueling and maintenance problems are listed in aviation circles as being among the top ten reasons why airlines cancel flights.

Thick, toxic smog has blanketed the city since Tuesday, when the 24-hour average of particulate matter pollution in the air (PM 2.5) reached more than 900 micrograms per cubic meter.

Karan Anand, head (relationships), Cox & Kings, said: "We are not seeing any cancellations from tourists at this point".

Assocham, which interacted with 350 tour operators and sought their feedback, said, "International tourists are quite particular about their health and safety". The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017 ranks India 40th out of 136 countries overall, and worldwide, Delhi is ranked at 28 by the number of foreign tourist arrivals. All schools have been shut down in the city through Sunday. The Delhi Fire Services sprinkled water on trees across the national capital as part of measures to control pollution.

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