Flights Resume to New Delhi After Smoke Situation; DMC Shares What Happened

Raisina hills, the government's seat of power, is seen enveloped in a thick blanket of smog in New Delhi, India. // Photo by AP Photo/Manish Swarup via Newscred

Flights resumed yesterday between Newark Liberty International Airport and New Delhi on United Airlines, an airline representative tells Travel Agent. The flights had been temporarily suspended due to poor air quality.

While consumer media reports had referred to the situation as general pollution, a representative of India-based destination management company Creative Travel tells Travel Agent that the situation is mainly caused by burning crop fields during the end of the harvesting season in states adjacent to Delhi. Farmers burn the fields in order to clear them for the next sowing, which caused a smoke cloud to settle over Delhi.

“Unfortunately this has consequences and the government has been trying to discourage them from the practice,” a Creative Travel representative wrote in an email. “It has now been stopped and forceful implementation is in place…The situation is very similar to the problems Singapore and Malaysia faced last year when there were the wildfires in Indonesia.”

Creative Travel also said that rain is expected in the next few days, which is expected to help the situation.

“Needless to say, we at Creative Travel takes health and safety of our guests very seriously,” the company said. “There is currently no reason to be alarmed as the situation has improved significantly over the past few days. We are all very aware of this fact as our head office is based in Delhi and we're all living this on a daily basis. Should there be any change in the situation that requires any alteration in the program, we'll be the first to do that.”

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