Poor visibility in the Chennai airport, caused by unexpected fog, forced authorities to divert seven flights away from the airport. The fog delayed several other domestic and international flights. Passengers travelling to and from Chennai, took to social media on Friday morning to express their displeasure over the sudden change in flight timings, even as airport authorities explained their helplessness in the situation.
On its official Twitter handle, the Chennai airport authorities, pointed out that, "Due to adverse weather conditions/poor visibility, flights are diverted/ delayed. The inconvenience caused to passengers is sincerely regretted. Passengers are requested to check with concerned airline (s) for further updates."
The diverted flights included a Spice Jet flight from Hyderabad to Chennai, a Go Air flight from Mumbai to Chennai, Air India flights from Sharjah and Mumbai to Chennai, an Air Asia flight from Kuala Lampur to Chennai, an Emirates flight from Dubai and Indigo flight from Pune.
Due to adverse weather conditions/poor visibility, flights are diverted/ delayed at @aaichnairport . The inconvenience caused to passengers is sincerely regretted. Passengers are requested to check with concerned airline (s) for further updates. pic.twitter.com/yWq0wywq9pâ€” Chennai (MAA) Airport (@aaichnairport) January 3, 2020
Several airlines took to Twitter to apologise to passengers and explain the delay. However customers pointed out that boarding staff were unresponsive and not forthcoming with information on the delay.
#TravelUpdate : Due to bad weather (poor visibility) in Chennai, flight UK-821 (Mumbai-Chennai) has been diverted to Bangalore and is expected to arrive Bangalore at 08:45 hrs. Please visit https://t.co/IZ9taT0TOv or SMS UK<flight no> to 9289228888 for updated flight status.â€” Vistara (@airvistara) January 3, 2020
We understand delays are no fun, Mr Agarwal. We're facing poor visibility in Chennai. Your flight has a consequential effect on it. We'd appreciate your understanding as we ensure safe and timely arrival. ~Snigdhaâ€” IndiGo (@IndiGo6E) January 3, 2020
Hey @AirAsia !! How long can you delay flights?? Air Asia Berhad from Chennai to Kaula Lampur AK-10 has been delayed. No response from the boarding staff. Not sure when we are going to board and have a travel. @HardeepSPuri sir please help us!#blockairasia #sickserviceairasiaâ€” Avinash Chandaka (@AVINASHCHANDAKA) January 3, 2020
Meanwhile, weather blogger Pradeep John, dismissed any speculation of thick layer of fog being caused by pollution.
"Advection Fog to continue in Coastal and slightly interior TN for next 2-3 days. Its not smog like what happened in November. We can see once land gets heated up after sun comes up by 9 am, the fog fades away. In November, this did not happen and the smog remained throughout the day," he explained on his social media account. "Today was perfect fog and pollution is well under the limits," he added.
He further pointed out that the fog is likely to clear as land temperature increases.
"This type of fog usually forms when warm, moist air passes over a cool surface. When this happens, the cold air just above the surface cools the warm air above it until it can no longer hold its moisture. This forces the warm air to condense, forming tiny particles of water which forms the fog that we see," he has written. "The fog will often rapidly cover the coast as a blanket of fog. Once the land temperature gets warm after sun coming in, the fog can quickly dissipate as the parcel of air warms. However, if the land temperature is cooler, the fog can linger for a longer time," he added.