Delhi smoke : United cancels flights to the city on air quality concerns

Delhi smog: United cancels flights to the city on air quality concerns

By: Ritika shree
11 Nov 2017

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

While the airline was earlier offering waivers on replaning of tickets, it has now decided to cancel its Newark-Delhi flights on Friday and Saturday (arriving Saturday and Sunday nights), citing air quality issues.

A United spokesperson was not quickly available for comment and the airline is transferring affected passengers to other airlines. United operates 267-seat Boeing 777 aircraft on the route, with a journey time of over 14 hours.

It is feared that the smog in Delhi would hit tourism; industry chamber Assocham on Friday said foreign tourists might skip Delhi in favour of other cleaner destinations. Tour operators, however, have not seen any cancellations yet.

“The pollution has generated a lot of negative publicity for the destination (Delhi) globally. However, there have been no cancellations in bookings,” said Dipak Deva, managing director of inbound tourism division, Thomas Cook group.

Karan Anand, head (relationships), Cox & Kings, said: “We are not seeing any cancellations from tourists at this point. Guests are arriving according to schedule and they move out of Delhi immediately, so there is no cause for concern.”

Assocham, which interacted with 350 tour operators and based its findings on their feedback, said: “International tourists are quite particular about their health and safety. In the wake of such negative developments, Delhi is bound to drop off the map of international tourists, who might pick ‘cleaner’ South Asian destinations. Even domestic tourists are avoiding Delhi.”