Published: Sun, November 12, 2017
Finance | By Loren Pratt

United Airlines cancels Delhi flights on air quality concerns

United Airlines cancels Delhi flights on air quality concerns

On its website, United said, "When severe weather or other major events... impact our operations, we sometimes issue travel waivers to allow you to change to alternate flights without paying a change fee".

UA 82 CANCELLED read the announcement for the Friday 9pm flight that was to arrive in Delhi at 9.30pm on Saturday.

United Airlines on Saturday temporarily suspended its Delhi-bound flights from Newark, USA, citing "poor air quality" - the first cancellation of an worldwide flight after pollution levels rose in the national capital with air quality index reaching the "severe" category."United temporarily suspended Newark-Delhi flights due to poor air quality concerns in Delhi", a spokesperson of the US-based airline said.

While Delhi is the only city on United's travel advisory list, air pollution has reached epic levels throughout the region. Not counting Bangladesh, the United States send the most tourists to India (1.29 million in 2016, accounting for 15 per cent of tourist arrivals) and news of United's shafting could send a jolt through the tourism sector, which remains in doldrums despite the much-hyped Incredible India campaign launched 15 years ago.

A representative of the airline told CNN they are monitoring advisories as the region is under a public health emergency.

Passengers will be given vouchers to switch flights, or given assistance in flying with a different airline.

Illegal crop-burning by farmers in the neighbouring states has been blamed as the main source of the hazardous pollution. The company's specialists believe that the smog over the Indian capital unsafe to fly Airliners.

Delhi's air consistently ranks among the worst in the world. "As a doctor, I have no problem saying that the situation today is a public health emergency". Closing down all schools.

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