The departure and arrival of 32 flights was delayed by about two hours from 7.30 AM at the airport here due to heavy smoke on account of burning of material by people on ‘Bhogi,’ the first day of the Pongal harvest festival, airport sources said.
All the flights, barring one from Oman, were domestic, they said.
The Oman Airways flight from Muscat with 148 passengers on board was diverted to Bangalore.
An outgoing Air India flight from here to Mumbai was stopped just before take off on the runway as the air traffic control did not give clearance for its scheduled departure at 7.30 AM.
It left for its onward destination at 9.30 AM, they said.
In Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu, the day preceding Thai Pongal is called Bhogi when people discard old and derelict things and concentrate on new things causing change or transformation. At dawn, people light a bonfire with logs of wood, other solid-fuels and wooden furniture at home that are no longer useful.