Air travellers going to Kathmandu from the city were also affected by the devastating earthquake on Saturday. After Kathmandu airport shut its operations due to the tremors felt in the country a number of flights from India had to be cancelled. The airport was open for operation only by 5pm.
Vishal Gondal, his wife and friends, all of whom were passengers on the Jet Airways flight 9W 266. The flight was diverted to Lucknow following the closure of Kathmandu airport
Jet Airways 9W 266 left Mumbai on Saturday 11 am, the scheduled departure time. The flight had 161 passengers and seven crew members on board. However, as an official statement from the airline stated: “Jet Airways flight 9W 266 from Mumbai to Kathmandu was diverted to Lucknow and will be returning to Mumbai. Hence, Jet Airways flight 266/265 Mumbai-Kathmandu-Mumbai stands cancelled.”
Vishal Gondal, founder and CEO, GOQii Inc, who was one of the passengers on the flight, revealed, “An announcement stating the diversion of the flight due to poor visibility was made at 12.30 pm and we landed at Lucknow at around 1.30 pm. It was only after 10 minutes of landing that we realised the actual reason of the flight diversion.”
Gondal and his wife and friends were on their way to a trek in Pokhra. Describing the situation of the people on the flight, he added, “Many Nepalis onboard were crying, worrying about their near and dear ones.” The flight took off for Mumbai at around 2.30 and landed at Mumbai’s Terminal 2 at around 4.25 pm.
Air India to the rescue
National carrier Air India has announced the operation of two additional Airbus flights to and from Kathmandu on Sunday. This will enable those stranded to fly out of Nepal.
Air India will also carry relief material free of charge on priority basis on its flights to Kathmandu, both from Delhi and Kolkata. The regular scheduled operations from Delhi and Kolkata will also resume tomorrow. Air India has also announced a waiver of cancellation and refund charges booked for travel on Air India to and from Kathmandu for travel up to May 2, 2015.
SpiceJet, in its official statement, has said that its Kathmandu flights have been cancelled for today. The airline will resume flights to Kathmandu as soon as possible. Updates regarding tomorrow's flights will be communicated as soon as it has more information, said the airline.
SpiceJet passengers travelling to Kathmandu in the next seven days can change or refund tickets without any change or cancellation fees. The airline plans to operate its Kathmandu flights as per schedule tomorrow (two flights), and is looking into additional relief flights if required.
Indian embassy in Kathmandu: +977 9851107021, 9851135141
Police emergency number: 4228435/4226853
Metropolitan police range: +977 4261945/ (Kathmandu) +977 4261790
Metropolitan police range (Lalitpur): +977 5521207
Metropolitan police range (Bhaktapur): +977 6614821
Paropkar Ambulance service: +977 4260859
Lalitpur Red Cross ambulance service: +977 5545666
Bishal Bazaar Ambulance service: +977 4244121
Red Cross ambulance service: +977 4228094
Indian MEA 24-hr helpline numbers
+91 11 2301 2113
+91 11 2301 4104
+91 11 2301 7905
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