Smog Alert: United Airlines temporarily suspend flights to New Delhi

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Smog Alert: United Airlines temporarily suspend flights to New Delhi

By
13 November 2017

By | 13 November 2017

The smog in New Delhi is so thick it is visible from space. 20 million people are being smothered in what local authorities are calling a gas chamber

 The levels of smog in New Delhi are 40 times higher than what WHO considers safe — Steven TDW White / Shutterstock  United Airlines Group Created with Sketch. The levels of smog in New Delhi are 40 times higher than what the WHO considers safe — Steven TDW White / Shutterstock

The Indian capital of New Delhi has been struggling with the worst smog levels in years. The suffocating black fog is affecting the health of local citizens and is causing issues for flights.

United Airlines had to temporarily suspend their flight UA 82 from Newark to New Delhi on Sunday evening because of the smog situation and resumed the route after the conditions improved.

“We are monitoring advisories as the region remains under a public health emergency, and are coordinating with respective government agencies,” representatives from United Airlines told Bloomberg.

Passengers travelling to India with United should pay attention to possible schedule changes on company’s website or their mobile application.

India’s biggest carrier IndiGo have not cancelled any flights, according to a company spokesperson. Other airlines flying to Delhi are monitoring the situation.

The smog stifling millions in the Indian capital has become so thick that it is clearly visible from space. NASA satellite pictures display it as a milky blanket covering the northern part of the Indian subcontinent.

Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister of Delhi, has called the city a “gas chamber” because the smog has gotten more severe since late October. More than 20 million people living in the area are affected.

According to the U.S. embassy monitor, the deadliest particle, PM2.5, was measured at 495 micrograms per cubic meter measured by 9 am local time on Monday. This gets deep into a person’s lungs and can be absorbed into the bloodstream.

The smog in Northern India is so thick it is visible from space — NASA Worldview New Delhi United airlines Group Created with Sketch. The smog in Northern India is so thick it is visible from space — NASA Worldview

This is over 40 times the level that is considered safe by the World Health Organization. Even levels over 300 are extremely hazardous. The limit set by Indian law is six times lower than the measured amount.

The Washington Post has reported that hospitals are seeing a surge in patients with respiratory problems.

“We’ve seen around a 30 to 35 per cent increase of patients in the past couple of days,” Anupam Sibal, group medical director and senior paediatrician at Apollo Hospitals, told the Post. “It wasn’t like this five years ago. Children with respiratory problems are finding their issues are exacerbated. It affects everyone.”