Dubai rains: 3 flights from Kerala cancelled, several delayed

Cochi airport (left) and flooded road in Dubai (right). Photo: Manorama, Reuters

New Delhi: The United Arab Emirates was on a drying-out process this Wednesday following the unprecedented downpour that inundated the region. Dubai International Airport bore the brunt of the deluge, resulting in flight disruptions at the world's busiest hub for international travel. Many flights from Kerala to Dubai were cancelled and delayed as a result.

The state-run WAM news agency called the rain Tuesday a historic weather event that surpassed anything documented since the start of data collection in 1949. That's before the discovery of crude oil in this energy-rich nation then part of a British protectorate known as the Trucial States.

Rain also fell in Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. However, the rains were acute across the UAE. Flights from India to Dubai have been disrupted significantly as heavy rains resulted in flooding of the emirate's airport, also one of the world's busiest airports.

Flights from Kerala
According to the website of the Cochin International Airport, two IndiGo flights to and from Dubai were cancelled and another Emirates flight scheduled to depart at 10.30 am was delayed by 2 hours. However, other flights scheduled from Kochi to Dubai, Sharjah and Dubai have not been cancelled or delayed.

The Thiruvananthapuram-Sharjah Air Arabia flight was also cancelled. Many flights which were scheduled yesterday is yet to depart from the respective airports in Kerala.

A delay was also reported for two flights (SpiceJet and Air Arabia) from Dubai and Abu Dhabi to Kozhikode.

Air India cancels 72 flights
Air India, which operates 72 weekly flights from various cities to Dubai, and IndiGo cancelled their services on Wednesday. Apart from Air India, Air India Express, Vistara, IndiGo and SpiceJet also operate flights from various Indian cities to Dubai, which is also home to a large number of Indian diaspora. An Air India spokesperson said due to the impact of adverse weather in Dubai, it had to cancel flights to and from the Gulf nation on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Delhi to Dubai flights
Meanwhile, an official said 10 flights from the Delhi airport to Dubai were cancelled on Wednesday. Also, nine flights that were to arrive from Dubai to the national capital were cancelled. Details about cancelled flights could not be immediately ascertained.

"Inclement weather has impacted air travel to the UAE, causing delays and diversions. Three to four of our flights on the 16th and 17th were among those delayed. We regret the inconvenience and have offered the option of a full refund or free rescheduling to all impacted guests," an Air India Express spokesperson said in a statement on Wednesday.

In a post on X on Wednesday, IndiGo said all flights to and from Dubai stand cancelled due to operational challenges caused by bad weather and road conditions. SpiceJet, in a post on X, said flights to and from Dubai are affected due to adverse weather conditions in Dubai. There was no statement from Vistara.

The Dubai airport was ranked as the world's second busiest airport in 2023, handling more than 8.69 crore passengers, according to Airports Council International (ACI).
(With PTI inputs.)

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