Flights from UAE to Mumbai suspended following heavy rains

DUBAI - Hundreds of passengers in Dubai and Mumbai have been stranded following the unprecedented deluge that hit the Indian financial capital on Tuesday.

By Zaigham Ali Mirza

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Published: Wed 27 Jul 2005, 10:35 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 3:44 PM

The rains, described as the highest recorded in India's history, brought with it chaos on the roads and railway. Power, telecommunications, and airport systems were thrown out of gear.

Mumbai was virtually cut off. All flights between Dubai and Mumbai were out of operation till late last night, as the heavy rains continued for the second day yesterday. Bleak weather forecasts for today indicate the possibility of further cancellation of flights from Dubai.

A number of airlines operating from Dubai and Sharjah to Mumbai have checked in passengers in local hotels following the disruption of flights. Officials from airlines told Khaleej Times that services would resume once the situation in Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International airport was back to normal.

"There is power failure in the city and the airport is out of operation. Our online systems, the servers for which are based in Mumbai, are also switched off," Jaishree Ramchandran, Air India Marketing Manager for Dubai and Northern Emirates, told Khaleej Times. According to her, one Air India flight from Dubai to Mumbai was cancelled on Tuesday night, and its 165 passengers were transferred to a local hotel.

Ramchandran clarified that the stranded passengers would be accomodated on other flights as soon as services resumed. "We have contingency plans to handle the situation but it is still unclear how soon the services will resume," she said.

"The Chhatrapati Shivaji International airport is currently closed to traffic until further notice. Emirates flights to and from Mumbai stand cancelled, until water levels recede and the airport re-opens. We are re-booking affected passengers by the next available flight, and have activated our call centres in India to keep passengers updated," a spokesperson for Emirates Airlines said, adding that passengers affected by the disruption of services would be provided all necessary support and assistance.

According to details provided by the flight information desk at Dubai International airport, as many as five flights between Dubai and Mumbai, including Air India and Emirates, were cancelled between Tuesday night and yesterday evening, while one British Airways flight (BA 139) carrying some 150 passengers from Heathrow to Mumbai was diverted to Dubai.

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