Mumbai deluge: 56 fligts diverted; SpiceJet skids off runway

Flight operations at Mumbai airport continued to be affected today after heavy rains since Tuesday, with the main runway remaining closed and adverse weather slowing operations on the secondary runway.

The airport said 56 flights were diverted to locations such as Goa, Bengaluru and Hyderabad on?Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. The main runway was expected to remain closed till at least 2 pm today as there was no letup in the rain.

Airlines reportedly informed passengers about cancellations of morning flights in advance and this reduced crowds at the terminals.

After the wind pattern improved after midnight, the first flight departed using the secondary runway at 12:30 am. The first arrival was at 1:30 am.

A SpiceJet aircraft that overshot the runway last night is still stranded and work is on to move it away. ''The disabled aircraft recovery kit from Air India is at site and preparation of pavement underneath the aircraft is in progress,'' said an airport official.

''We are experiencing heavy rainfall and bad tail winds at CSIA (Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport). Fights are taking off and landing from the secondary runway as the main runway has been closed for operations. There are delays in arrival and departure flights because of the fluctuating weather,'' said a Mumbai airport spokesperson.

Jet Airways flight 9W 537 (Dubai- Mumbai) that was to land Mumbai at around 11.10 pm last night was stuck at Bengaluru airport. A passenger told Hindustan Times, ''We have been asking the airline to complete immigration formalities and let us go to the city but this is not happening. We are stuck here since night and the airline has told us that we would not be taking off before 4pm today.''

Mumbai-bound Air India flight AI 191 from Delhi, departed at night but landed in Hyderabad. It was brought back to Delhi. Air India spokesperson Dhananjay Kumar said, ''Due to bad weather in Mumbai the landing of aircraft is prohibited because of this, AI191 did not get permission to land in Mumbai hence it is diverted to Hyderabad. We tried our best to get the permission to land in Mumbai but did not succeed. So AI 191 was further diverted to Delhi.''

Around 20 Air India flights are affected due to bad weather in the city.