First chartered flight arrives carrying 495 Russian tourists
VASCO: The first chartered flight carrying 495 tourists from Russia arrived at the Dabolim airport on Sunday, ushering in the new tourist season in the state.
Air Rossiya’s chartered airliner, which was expected to land at the airport at around 8 am, was diverted to Bangalore due to thick fog which enveloped the area reducing visibility at the airport runway. The airliner flew to Bangalore and came back to the Dabolim airport at around 3.15 pm.
Representatives of the Concord Exotic Voyages, which is the chartered tour operator for Air Rossiya, and the state tourism department welcomed the Russian tourists on their arrival at the airport.
Speaking to ‘The Navhind Times’, Sheik Ismail, general manager, Concord Exotic Voyages, Goa, rued about hardship the passengers had to undergo due to the flight diversion.
“We are expecting a rise in arrival of Russian tourists this season as compared to the previous year,” Ismail said, adding that the Concord Exotic Voyages is expecting over 50,000 tourists from Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine arriving in the state.
The second chartered flight of Air Rossiya will arrive in the state on October 5 carrying nearly 495 passengers.
The prevalence of thick fog also led to the diversion of several other flights including two from international airlines – Air Arabia and Oman Airlines.
The other domestic flights which were diverted to their places of origin belonged to Indigo Airlines and Jet Airways.
The hundreds of air passengers, who were stranded at the airport since the early morning on Sunday, were accommodated in some hotels in and around Vasco city.
Most of the passengers were severely inconvenienced as they missed their connecting flights.