United Airlines suspends Newark-Delhi flight due to pollution concerns

Henrietta Brewer
November 12, 2017

As smog envelops Delhi giving rise to poor visibility and health hazards, the United Airlines on Saturday temporarily suspended its flight originating from Newark to New Delhi for a few days, as reported by news agency ANI.

While the US-based airline was earlier offering waivers on rescheduling of tickets, it has now made a decision to cancel its Newark-Delhi flights on Friday and Saturday (arriving Saturday and Sunday nights).

United has operated on the Newark-New Delhi route since 2005 and now offers daily nonstop service on its Boeing 777-200ER aircraft.

The airline is also transferring affected passengers to other airlines.

On Thursday, the New Delhi government declared a pollution emergency and announced severe measures to improve its worsening air quality. "Due to air quality concerns in Delhi, India, we anticipate possible delays and cancellations throughout the weekend". To get ahead of this potential issue, we're offering additional flexibility that may allow you to change your travel plans.

Assocham, which has recently interacted with 350 tour operators, said: "International tourists are quite particular about their health and safety".

Dipak Deva, Managing director of Tourism division, Thomas Cook group said: "The pollution has generated a lot of negative publicity for the destination (Delhi) globally". Guests are arriving as per schedule and they move out of Delhi immediately and so there is no cause for concern. The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017 ranks India 40th out of 136 countries overall, and worldwide, Delhi is ranked at 28 by the number of foreign tourist arrivals.

Air quality readings in New Delhi have soared in recent days with monitors showing levels of PM10, or suspended particles smaller than 10 micrometres, over 45 times the limit the World Health Organization considers to be safe. All schools have been shut down in the city through Sunday.

Other reports by iNewsToday