Special AI flights bring back stranded passengers from Leh

Last Updated: Sunday, August 8, 2010 - 23:17

New Delhi: Air India today operated three
special flights from Delhi to Leh bringing back 331 passengers
stranded there after the Friday`s cloudburst that left 145
people dead and over 500 missing.

"We operated three special flights on Delhi-Leh-Delhi
sector today and flew back 331 passengers from Leh who were
stranded there due to cloudburst," an Air India spokesperson
said.

The Airline charged a single special fare of Rs 9000
instead of regular fare of Rs 11,661 from the passengers, he
said. The flights had left Leh at 7.50, 11.05 and 11.40 this
morning.

Air India has decided to operate four special flights on
Delhi-Leh-Delhi sector tomorrow, and one each additional
flight on Jammu-Leh-Jammu sector and Srinagar-Leh-Srinagar
sector.

The flights will leave for Delhi at 5.25am, 5.30am,
8.15am and 9.15am tomorrow and the fare will be Rs 9000 only,
the spokesperson said.

Since the tragedy, Air India has operated six special
flights from Leh out of which five were on Delhi-Leh-Delhi
sector and one on Jammu-Leh-Jammu sector and flew back a total
number of 553 passengers to Delhi and 103 passengers to Jammu.

Yesterday, the airline had deployed two Airbus 320
aircraft to bring passengers from Leh to Delhi and one from
Leh to Jammu.

The Civil Aviation ministry had yesterday asked Air
India, Jet airways and Kingfisher airlines to operate three
flights each to bring back the stranded passengers for today.

The Ministry had also asked them not to charge exorbitant
fare following the complaint from the air travellers.

The Kingfisher airline today operated two flights from
Leh to Delhi and brought back 290 tourists.

"We operated today one scheduled flight and an additional
flight to bring back the tourists. We deployed Airbus 320
aircraft with a capacity of 175 seats but due to load penalty
we could only accommodate 145 passengers in each flights," a
Kingfisher spokesperson said.

Load Penalty is the restrictions followed by the airlines
which operate to Leh airport to carry a certain amount of load
including the passengers and baggages as the airport is
situated at high altitude and does not have a long runway.

Meanwhile, Kingfisher will operate four of its flights --
one scheduled and three additional -- from Leh to Delhi
tomorrow.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, August 8, 2010 - 23:17

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