Massive congestion, dense fog at New Delhi airport leads to 150 flight delays


Close to 150 flights were delayed for hours due to traffic congestion at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport on Sunday, while 11 flights were diverted, and some cancelled as low visibility conditions due to dense fog disrupted operations, causing chaos for passengers and airlines alike.

An official said that between 4.30 a.m. and 12 noon, 11 flights, including three international flights, were diverted. Eight flights were redirected to Jaipur, while one each were sent to Ahmedabad, Mumbai, and Shimla. The dense fog not only impacted domestic routes but also caused substantial delays and cancellations for overseas services.

Airlines took to social media to inform passengers about potential disruptions. Akasa Air posted on X: “Due to adverse weather (fog) at Delhi, Chennai, Varanasi, Bagdogra & Lucknow, our flight schedules have been affected, which may lead to consequential delays. We understand this may impact your travel plans and regret the inconvenience…”

SpiceJet posted: “Due to expected poor visibility in Delhi (DEL), Amritsar (ATQ), Jammu (IXJ), Varanasi (VNS), Gorakhpur (GOP), Patna (PAT), Bagdogra (IXB), Darbhanga (DBR), Guwahati (GAU) and Tezpur (TEZ) all departures/arrivals and their consequential flights may get affected.”

Passengers took to social media to express their frustration with the disruptions.

Udit, a user on X, complained about a four-hour plus delay on IndiGo flight 6E 2346 from Delhi to Coimbatore, and the inconvenience it caused in finding local transportation and accommodation.

Another user, Abhi Anand, criticised Vistara: “@airvistara, worst experience ever, been stranded at Delhi T3. No update on UK627, staff unsupportive. Telling nothing!!” In response, Vistara replied: “Hi Abhi, our commitment is to uphold on-time operations; however, we regret to inform you that flight UK601 experienced a delay due to air traffic congestion in Delhi and bad weather. Sometimes, such delays are beyond our control, despite our best efforts.”

User Satish posted: “Have been waiting at Gorakhpur airport with old parents 80+, since morning 1100 to board IndiGo flight 6e5288. Constant delays to now 2010 departure. The inbound flight is yet to get airborne from Delhi. Hellish experience especially with old parents.”

An IndiGo spokesman said: “Due to the low visibility and dense fog conditions across North India, IndiGo flight operations were impacted on Jan 14, 2024. This had a cascading effect on our operations throughout the day. Our staff kept passengers apprised of all delays and cancellations across airports and made every possible effort to facilitate the passengers. We sincerely regret the inconvenience caused to our passengers.”