Fog leaves Cathay flight stranded in New Delhi

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 26 January, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 26 January, 2010, 12:00am

More than 300 Cathay Pacific passengers were stuck for 10 hours on a runway in New Delhi at the weekend as heavy fog and crew changes delayed take-off.

According to a Cathay spokesman, the flight, CX708, was scheduled to leave for Bangkok, and then on to Hong Kong, at 4am New Delhi time on Saturday. But poor visibility due to fog delayed the flight.

The plane waited in its bay until 6.30am for visibility to improve. It was then cleared for take-off but had to wait on the runway until 9am, by which time it needed more fuel, the spokesman said.

After being taken back to the bay to refuel there were further delays when the airspace was closed for an hour for Republic Day rehearsals, and the crew onboard was changed because they had done their hours.

The flight eventually left at about 2.20pm, a delay of more than 10 hours.

Of the 302 passengers who boarded the plane in New Delhi, 124 arrived in Hong Kong just after midnight on Sunday.

'We boarded at 4am but the flight could not take off due to low visibility. There were no announcements until about 6.30am. Then we were told the crew had not arrived. Most of us missed our connecting flights. When we asked the staff to let us off the plane, they shut the door,' said Mahendra S, a stranded passenger quoted in media reports.