New Delhi: Aviation regulator DGCA on Saturday
launched a probe into the diversion of GoAir`s Lucknow-Delhi
flight to Patna to carry Haj pilgrims here.
While the private carrier had taken permission for
diverting yesterday`s Lucknow-Delhi flight to Patna from air
traffic control and Airports Authority of India, it did not do
so from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) which
approves flight schedules, officials said.
"The reasons for not operating Delhi-Patna-Delhi and
not obtaining clearance from DGCA for diverting Delhi-Lucknow
-Delhi to Delhi-Lucknow-Patna-Delhi is being investigated,"
the officials said.
The diversion, which caused over three hours delay,
triggered protests by passengers who claimed they were not
informed of it and had missed connecting flights to other
destinations from Delhi.
The officials said that GoAir had planned to operate
three flights on Delhi-Patna-Delhi sector to transfer about
450 Haj Pilgrims yesterday. The aircraft was to operate ferry
services from Delhi past midnight. These operations were
approved by the Civil Aviation Ministry and the DGCA.
But due poor visibility at Patna Airport, the ferry
aircraft was not dispatched from Delhi as scheduled. Due to
the delay caused by low visibility which improved in the wee
hours, only two flights were sent to Patna to bring Haj
pilgrims to Delhi.
The scheduled Delhi-Lucknow-Delhi flight was diverted
then from Lucknow to Patna to transfer the pilgrims to ensure
their onward connection from Delhi.
While GoAir had obtained clearance from ATC and the
Airports Authority for this diversion, no clearance was
obtained from DGCA. This was being investigated, the officials