New Delhi, Over a dozen flights to Dubai from India were canceled today while many more diverted after an Emirates flight from Thiruvananthapuram crash-landed and exploded on the runway of the Dubai International Airport this afternoon, leading to the suspension of operations temporarily.
There were 226 Indians aboard the Boeing 777-300, with most of them from Kerala.
While Budget carrier IndiGo said it has canceled 11 flights to Dubai from various domestic destinations, full-service carrier Jet Airways canceled two flights, one each from Mumbai and Delhi.
Meanwhile, Emirates, which had earlier announced setting up of a helpline for the US, UK and UAE, later operationalise one such helpline for India as well.
"Have asked Emirates to set up helpline number in India. They have operationalised 09848018923 at Trivandrum," Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said in a tweet.
State-run Air India diverted nine of its Dubai-bound flights from different Indian cities to nearby airports like Sharjah and Al Maktoum International Airport.
"We have canceled all our 11 flights to Dubai for today due to non-availability of the runway at the Dubai International Airport," an IndiGo spokesperson said.
"Two of our flights have been affected owing to the runway closure at Dubai airport," Budget carrier SpiceJet said in a statement.
Our second flight from Amritsar which was expected to arrive at Dubai airport at 1715 hours IST has been diverted to a nearby airport (DWC Al Maktoum International Airport) due to the runaway closure in accordance with the instructions by the Dubai Airport Authorities.
SpiceJet's second flight from Amritsar which was expected to arrive at Dubai airport at 1715 hours Indian time has been diverted to a nearby airport DWC Al Maktoum International Airport; it said adding, "We have taken all requisite measures to ensure adequate refreshments for the stranded passengers."
Emirates, also announced the cancellation of its flights to Mumbai and Kolkata from Dubai in the wake of the accident. "We are expecting an 8-hour network wide delay," Emirates said.