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Earthquake in Nepal: Air India, IndiGo, SpiceJet, others put flights to Kathmandu airport on hold

Domestic airlines today put on hold their services to the Nepal capital Kathmandu, following the closure of runway due to a powerful earthquake…

earthquake
All Indian carriers- national airline Air India and private carriers IndiGo and SpiceJet, have put on hold their flight services till they get a go-ahead from the Nepalese aviation authorities. (Reuters)

Flights to Kathmandu from India were hit today after a powerful earthquake rocked Nepal with most of the airlines including Air India, IndiGo, Spicejet and Jet Airways cancelling or putting on hold their operations due to closure of the ruway at the Tribhuvan International airport for a few hours.

A powerful 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal today, causing massive damage in Kathmandu and surrounding areas with strong tremors being felt in neighbouring countries.

Private carrier Jet Airways, which had cancelled its services on the Kathmandu-New Delhi-Kathmandu and Kathmandu-Mumbai sectors in the wake of the quake, later operated a flight from the Nepalese capital to New Delhi.

earthquake in nepal
People stand on the runway outside the International Terminal after a earthquake hit, at Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu, Nepal, April 25, 2015, in this handout courtesy of Dhany Osman. The massive earthquake measuring 7.9 magnitude struck 80 km (50 miles) east of Pokhara in Nepal on Saturday, causing some buildings in the capital Kathmandu to collapse, witnesses said. REUTERS

“The flight from Kathamandu with 162 passengers onboard departed for Delhi at 1555 hrs,” a Jet Airways spokesperson said.

However, the airline’s Kathmandu-bound flight from Mumbai was diverted to Lucknow.

Meanwhile, budget carrier IndiGo said it was expecting to resume flights to Kathmandu from tomorrow.

“IndiGo would resume operations to Kathamandu from tomorrow morning,” IndiGo President Aditya Ghosh said.

SpiceJet, which operate two flights from the national capital to the land-locked country, said it has cancelled both its flights to Kathmandu from Delhi today. A decision on resumption of operations will be taken tomorrow, an airline official said.

The airline has also offered the aircraft’s cargo-belly space to NGOs for transporting relief material to the Nepalese capital.

State-run Air India said it had put on hold two flights that were to operate from Delhi and Kolkata to the Nepalese capital.

“We operate three flights to Kathmandu. While the morning flight from Delhi operated as per the schedule, the two other services, one from Delhi and another from Kolkata are on hold as of now. We will operate them as soon as we get a nod from the aviation authorities in Kathmandu,” an Air India spokesperson said.

Air India, Jet Airways, IndiGo and SpiceJet said they have decided to waive off the ticket cancellation charges for some time in view of the calamity.

earthquake
A car stands under the weight of an electric pole after it collapsed following an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal, Saturday, April 25, 2015. A strong magnitude-7.9 earthquake shook Nepal’s capital and the densely populated Kathmandu Valley before noon Saturday, causing extensive damage with toppled walls and collapsed buildings, officials said. A magnitude-6.6 aftershock hit about an hour later, and smaller aftershocks continued to ripple through the region for hours. (AP)

Air India, SpiceJet to operate additional flights to Kathmandu

National carrier Air India will resume its services to Nepal from tomorrow and also decided to operate two additional flights from here and Kolkata to the quake-hit country with relief material and to fly out people stranded there.

The two flights which were to be operated today have been cancelled and would now take-off tomorrow, Air India said.

“The regular scheduled operations from Delhi and Kolkata will also resume tomorrow,” Air India said in a statement here.

Besides, the airline would also operate two additional flights — one each from New Delhi and Kolkata – for Kathmandu tomorrow with relief material and also to fly out those who are stuck due to the devastating earthquake, it said.

The additional flight from New Delhi to Kathmandu (AI-1215) will depart at 1030 hours while the second flight (AI-1247) would take off from Kolkata at 0700 hours, the airline said.

The state-run carrier operates three services to Kathmandu — two daily services from Delhi and one from Kolkata which is operated four times a week.

Air India would also carry relief material free of charge on priority basis, on its flights to Kathmandu, both from Delhi and Kolkata, it said.

The decision to resume operations was taken following the re-opening of the runway of the Tribhuvan International Airport which was closed for few hours today due to the earthquake, it said.

The national airline has also waived off cancellation and refund charges for the bookings for Kathmandu and vice versa for travel up to May 2, the release said, adding the waiver will be for all connecting passengers to and from Kathmandu through Delhi and Kolkata also.

Budget carrier SpiceJet, which had cancelled both of its flight from Delhi for Kathmandu also said it plans to resume operations from tomorrow.

“SpiceJet plans to operate its scheduled flight for Kathmandu tomorrow,” the airline said in statement.

The airline said it was also looking into operating additional relief flights, if required.

Accredited NGOs and relief organizations looking to transport emergency supplies, doctors are requested to contact airline by e-mail and SpiceJet would accommodate as many requests as possible free of charge, it said.

A powerful 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal today, causing massive damage in Kathmandu and surrounding areas with strong tremors being felt in neighbouring countries.

Following this, domestic airlines had put on hold their services to the Nepal capital Kathmandu.

EARTHQUAKES-TIMELINE
List of deadliest earthquakes of the past 30 years

— August 11, 2012: Twin earthquakes with a magnitude 6.3 and 6.4 leave 306 dead and more than 3,000 injured near the Iranian city of Tabriz.

— March 11, 2011: Nearly 18,900 are killed when a tsunami triggered by a massive magnitude 9.0 undersea quake slams into the northeast coast of Japan, triggering a nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi atomic plant.

— October 23, 2011: An earthquake of 7.2 magnitude rocks eastern Turkey, leaving more than 600 dead and at least 4,150 injured.

— January 12, 2010: Magnitude 7.0 quake hits Haiti, leaving between 250,000 and 300,000 dead.

— April 14, 2010: A 6.9-magnitude quake hits Yushu county in northwest China’s Qinghai province leaving 3,000 people dead and missing.

— May 12, 2008: A quake measuring 8.0 hits China’s southwest province of Sichuan, leaving more than 87,000 people dead or missing.

— May 27, 2006: A powerful quake in Indonesia’s Yogyakarta region kills 6,000 and leaves 1.5 million homeless.

— October 8, 2005: An earthquake of 7.6 kills more than 75,000 people, the vast majority of them in Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Some 3.5 million are displaced.

— March 28, 2005: An earthquake on Indonesia’s Nias island off Sumatra leaves 900 dead.

— December 26, 2004: A massive undersea earthquake off the coast of Sumatra island triggers a tsunami which kills 220,000 in countries around the Indian Ocean, including 168,000 in Indonesia.

— December 26, 2003: A quake measuring 6.7 hits the Iranian city of Bam, killing at least 31,884 people and injuring 18,000.

— January 26, 2001: A massive 7.7 earthquake hits the western Indian state of Gujarat, killing 25,000 people and injuring 166,000.

— September 30, 1993: A 6.3-magnitude quake hits the western Indian state of Maharashtra, killing 7,601.

— October 20, 1991: A quake measuring 6.6 hits the Himalayan foothills of Uttar Pradesh state in India, killing 768.

— August 20, 1988: A magnitude 6.8 quake hits eastern Nepal, killing 721 people in Nepal and at least 277 in the neighbouring Indian state of Bihar.

— July 28, 1976: A magnitude 7.8 quake hits Tangshan, in north China’s Hebei province. Officials said 242,000 people died, although some western sources said the toll was higher.

— January 15, 1934: Magnitude 8.1 quake hits eastern Nepal and Bihar state in neighbouring India killing 10,700 people.

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