The Delhi-bound IndiGo flight (No 8002) landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport at its domestic terminal early tonight.
Private airlines have also joined the rescue operations in rain-battered Chennai, with some of the carriers on Friday flying out hundreds of people from here to Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore. “Some of the private airlines have started running a few relief flights from here to Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore. One such flight flew about 130 rescued civilians to Delhi this afternoon,” a defence official here said. “While two flights flew in the morning to Hyderabad and Bangalore routes, one came in the afternoon and another at night,” he added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi-bound IndiGo flight (No 8002) landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport at its domestic terminal early tonight. Arakkonam Naval Base or INS Rajali is about 70 kms west of Chennai, and is currently being used as a makeshift airport due to closure of the Chennai Airport. Private airlines today made their makeshift counters here, near the tarmac, to facilitate ferrying of people. As per the schedule of civil flights from here, a copy of which is available with PTI, seven such sorties have been listed in it, including the Delhi-bound IndiGo flight.”A TrueJet flight and a SpiceJet flight left for Hyderabad and Bangalore respectively this morning, before the Delhi-bound IndiGo one, which left at in the afternoon. Two Air India, another IndiGo and SpiceJet flights are also scheduled,” he added. The Delhi-bound IndiGo left Arrakonam at about 2:20 PM and flew to Delhi via Bangalore, where it stopped over for refueling and also picked up a few commercial passengers as the seats were left empty. “An 180-seater aircraft took the rescued people and a few defence officials from Arrakonam. At Bangalore about 30 passengers boarded the flight,” a member of the air crew onboard the IndiGo’s Flight No 8002 said.”While another IndiGo flight is on the schedule, the last update I had was that they are not able to get adequate number of passengers for it. However, some of our staff are there, so they have to get back, so I believe it will fly anyway, but no confirmation as such on it,” she added.About 130 rescued citizens and an old French couple flew in this aircraft which reached Delhi at about 7 PM, with passengers letting out a loud cheer as the plane touched down in the national capital. The rescued people, which included about 70 university students were said to be flown in a C-17 Globemaster, but sources said, it couldn’t do it for lack of adequate passengers. However, defence officials did not conform if that was the original plan. A C-17 had carried over 100 people to Hyderabad yesterday.21-year-old Dehradun-native Kopal Gupta, who was onboard the Delhi-bound flight said, “I was so excited at the prospect of travelling in a C-17, but it came as a surprise, this civil flight. Though, I thank the private airlines for carrying us out of here in times of distress.” The C-17 was seen parked at the Base here, and a source said that it was being used to ferry teams of NDRF for the rescue operations.