United suspending flights to New Delhi over air pollution

Citing New Delhi’s lingering problem with severe air pollution, United Airlines said this week it would suspend flights to the Indian city for two days.

An aerial view shows buildings engulfed in smog in New Delhi, India, on November 7, 2017. United Airlines briefly suspended flights to the city because of the air quality. Photo by EPA-EFE/Harish Tyagi
An aerial view shows buildings engulfed in smog in New Delhi, India, on November 7, 2017. United Airlines briefly suspended flights to the city because of the air quality. Photo by EPA-EFE/Harish Tyagi

The airline announced its decision on Friday, days after the air quality in New Delhi was rated hazardous, saying it would cancel flights from Newark, N.J., set to arrive on Saturday and Sunday, the Business Standard reported.

“United has temporarily suspended Newark-Delhi flights due to poor air quality concerns in Delhi and currently has waiver policies in place for customers who are travelling to, from or through Delhi,” an unnamed United spokesperson told the newspaper. “We are monitoring advisories as the region remains under a public health emergency and are coordinating with respective government agencies.”

CNN reported that the airline would provide vouchers to affected customers, to be used for similar flights on or before Nov. 18.

Air quality monitors indicated this week that levels reached 969, which is well above the World Health Organization’s benchmark for unsafe air quality, 25.

By Sam Howard