Kolkata: Dusty wind of 30-40kmph between 7.45pm and 8.35pm forced the diversion of 11 flights – 9 domestic and 2 international at the Kolkata airport on Sunday. Operation at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport was suspended during this period as the winds that were constantly changing direction made it risky for flights to either take off or land.
Airport MET office in charge, GC Debnath, said while the wind speed was not too high, it was the unpredictability of the wind direction that caused the problem.
Four domestic flights were diverted to Bhubaneshwar and two each to Agartala and Guwahati and one to Ranchi. The period being the peak hour air traffic period in the city, flights of all major domestic operators including IndiGo, Spicejet, Vistara and Air India took a hit and had to be diverted.
“The flights hovered over the city skyline for sometime unable to land and when fuel indications started getting low, the flights were diverted to neighbouring airport for refuelling. They were brought back to the city when the weather developed,” said an airport official.
Both the international flights were diverted to Dhaka. A Bangladesh Biman flight that was headed to Kolkata returned and an Etihad flight also took refuge at Dhaka airport. Operations resumed at 8.35pm with an IndiGo flight from Nagpur touching down at Kolkata.