A Port Blair-bound Vistara flight (UK747) is returning to its origin airport Kolkata due to bad weather at the destination, the airline said on Saturday. The flight was expected to arrive in Kolkata at about 3 pm.
Bad weather was likely triggered by the active cyclone Mocha, which is currently centred around Port Blair. According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the extremely severe cyclone Mocha has intensified even more over the east-central Bay of Bengal. It is now expected to track north-northeast and cross the shores of southeast Bangladesh and northern Myanmar on Sunday. On Saturday and Sunday, IMD issued rain and storm warnings for the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, as well as portions of Tripura, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, and Assam.
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On Friday morning, Mocha was roughly 520km to the west-northwest of Port Blair. The tropical heat potential, which fuels the cyclone, is at its highest level close to the coast of Myanmar, according to an IMD official.
#DiversionUpdate: Flight UK747 from Kolkata to Port Blair (CCU – IXZ) is returning to Kolkata (CCU) due to bad weather at Port Blair Airport and is expected to arrive in Kolkata at 1500 hours. Please stay tuned for further updates.
— Vistara (@airvistara) May 13, 2023
IMD issued a warning about the potential for landslides in sensitive places, minor damage to loose or unstable structures, uprooting of small trees and breaking of tree limbs, and damage to tiny trees like banana trees in Mizoram, Tripura, and south Manipur.
In other news, Vistara announced that it used sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) when flying a Boeing 787 between Delhi and Mumbai. According to a statement from the airline, this is the first time an Indian carrier has used a wide-body aircraft for a commercial, domestic flight utilising a mixture of 17 percent SAF and 83 percent regular jet fuel.