NATIONAL

We are not at fault, says IA

New Delhi Oct. 5. The Indian Airlines today said that it was not at fault for the hovering of the flight, carrying the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, Chandrababu Naidu, over Delhi, on Friday, which happened due to the "bunching'' of several domestic and international flights over Delhi. The air space had been closed from 8 am to 10 am due to Air Force Day exercises. The flight remained "air-borne" as it was not cleared for landing immediately by the Air Traffic Control (ATC).

In a statement, the airline said the Chief Minister — as all other passengers — had been intimated individually about the rescheduling of the flight IC 839 from Hyderabad to Delhi. The flight took off from Hyderabad at 8-15 a.m. and arrived over Delhi at 10-35 a.m.

"However, all such incoming flights, including those of private airlines, had been asked by the ATC to remain in air due to the bunching of flights over the Delhi airport, pending clearance to land by turns.''

The IA said another politician from Hyderabad (K. Yerran Naidu), who was travelling on another flight (Jet Airways) around the same time, was also delayed for a while for the same reason.

IA said the rescheduling of flights to and from Delhi had been widely circulated in the media for the benefit of the passengers and it should not be held responsible for any procedural delays on this count.

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