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Over 41,000 stranded at Delhi and Mumbai airports
Published on 20 Apr. 2010 12:02 AM IST
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: The government Monday said more than 41,000 passengers have been stranded at Mumbai and Delhi international airports as air routes are restricted due to an ash cloud from an Icelandic volcano spreading to Europe, disrupting flights for the last four days.
“There are about 41,435 passengers stranded in Delhi and Mumbai airports. The situation is still grim in Europe,” Civil Aviation secretary M. Madhavan Nambiar told reporters here.
“The officials there are meeting again shortly to take stock of the situation. We will be intimated thereafter,” he added. Two main international carriers from India, Air India and Jet Airways, will be flying through other routes from Monday till the situation improves in Europe, said Nambiar.
Air India will fly to the U.S. and Canada via Cairo (Egypt), while Jet Airways will fly to these destinations via Athens (Greece).
The ministry has also constituted a control room which would monitor the situation in Europe. “The control room will also deal with issues concerning passengers. We have met all airline operators and ministry of external affairs officials to expedite the transfer of passengers to their destinations,” said Nambiar.
Indian carriers to fly polar route to US, Canada
Indian carriers Air India, Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines will now fly to the US and Canada taking the polar route, an official said Monday.
The polar route refers to an aircraft route across the uninhabited polar ice cap region. Its operations are entirely north of Alaska and over Siberia.
The airlines used to take the London and Frankfurt route but had to suspend their flights for four consecutive days after plumes of volcanic ash from Iceland drifted over western and northern Europe since Thursday. “Currently our flights cannot operate to north European destinations following volcanic ash spreading over Europe,” an Air India official said.
The airline will operate its flights from Delhi to New York and New York to Delhi, and also Mumbai-New York and New York-Mumbai flights through the polar route (via Helsinki).
Private carrier Jet Airways has started its Delhi-Toronto and Mumbai-New York flights with a stopover at Athens (Greece).

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