7th APRIL 2015 - Vol.XXXVIII No.018
Local News

Travellers hit by Bombay floods

SCORES of passengers were still stranded in Bahrain last night, after being grounded by killer floods in India. They had arrived in Bahrain from various countries and were scheduled to catch connecting flights to Bombay, when airport was closed by torrential rain on Tuesday.

Flights to the airport were re-starting last night, but many stranded passengers were still waiting to leave, after being put up in hotels.

Gulf Air said it had been given clearance by the Indian Civil Aviation Authorities last night to re-start flights. Flights were taking off from Bahrain and Abu Dhabi, the airline said in a statement. But it said it would take some time to clear the backlog of passengers.

"The airline has no aircraft stranded in Bombay and flights to other Indian cities are operating as normal," said the statement. It advised passengers wishing to change flights or requiring updates to contact local travel agent.

Gulf Air operates four flights daily to Bombay - one each from Bahrain and Abu Dhabi and two from Muscat.

It is understood that 11 flights to Bombay have already been cancelled.

Passengers on a Gulf Air flight from London to Bombay landed in Bahrain on Wednesday night and were transferred to hotels.

Meanwhile, an Air India flight from Bombay scheduled to arrive in Bahrain yesterday afternoon was delayed indefinitely, said Air India area manager for Bahrain and Jordan M N Naik.

"We have already informed 75 passengers booked on this flight to Bombay about the situation," he told the GDN.

"Our Tuesday flight to Bombay carrying 26 passengers from Bahrain was diverted to Delhi.

"Our Wednesday flight from Cochin arrived in Bahrain three hours late because it was delayed by heavy rains there."

However, Air India expects to operate a flight from Cochin today. "We are not sure whether the flight will arrive in time," said Mr Naik.

He added that the airport in Bombay had been partially reopened yesterday, but it was unclear when operations would resume fully. "Power supplies and communication have not been fully restored yet," said Mr Naik.

Indian Airlines flights from Cochin and Calicut to Bahrain have been operating normally, said airport manager Baldev Kumar.

"Our daily flights originate from Delhi and reach Bahrain via Bombay, Cochin, Calicut and Doha," he added. "Over the past three days, it had skipped Bombay and reached Bahrain without any delay."

AFP reported that the main airport in Bombay reopened yesterday afternoon after being closed since Tuesday with waterlogged runways.

It said aside from allowing the resumption of commercial flights, the reopening had allowed the Air Force to start flying in relief materials.

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