Thick fog forces flight cancellation, diversion at Hanoi airport

By Doan Loan   February 17, 2022 | 08:55 pm PT
Thick fog forces flight cancellation, diversion at Hanoi airport
Planes are surrounded by thick fog at Hanoi's Noi Bai Airport, February 18, 2022. Photo courtesy of Noi Bai International Airport
26 flights from and to Hanoi's Noi Bai Airport from Thursday night to Friday morning had to either be diverted, delayed or canceled due to thick fog.

From 8 p.m. Thursday to 4 a.m. Friday, unfavorable weather conditions prevented the airport from receiving incoming flights, according to an airport representative.

Two international cargo flights had to be diverted to Hai Phong and Laos. A flight from Hong Kong had to turn around back to where it came from. A flight from Japan had to be diverted to Ho Chi Minh City's Tan Son Nhat Airport.

12 domestic flights had to be diverted to Phu Bai in Thua Thien-Hue and Da Nang in central Vietnam and Cat Bi in Hai Phong near Hanoi.

Over 10 flights from Noi Bai could not take off Thursday night, forcing airlines to cancel flights due to the lack of planes, affecting over 1,000 passengers. Airlines had to help some passengers on canceled international flights to stay at hotels while waiting for more flights the next day.

At Noi Bai, visibility only reached 700-800 m while the northeast wind speed was at 1-2 m/s.

"The fog was thick and the cloud ceiling was low, which was not suited for aviation. If there's enough rain or wind, the fog may dissipate," said an airport representative.

By 4 a.m. Friday, weather conditions improved, but flights may still be delayed, the representative added.

Thick fog has also affected other airports in northern and north central Vietnam, for example in Vinh, Cat Bi or Van Don. Some flights to these locations have had to be diverted either to Noi Bai or Da Nang.

Tran Hoai Phuong, director of the Northern Airports Authority, said airports in northern Vietnam could receive flights normally starting 4 a.m. Friday.

Northern Vietnam regions have been experiencing light rains and drizzles at night and in the morning due to winds from the northeast bringing moisture from the sea.

Temperatures in northern Vietnam is expected to rise slightly Friday noon to around 22 degrees, before plunging rapidly due to a mass of cold air moving southward from China. Mountainous areas may see frost and snow as a result, according to the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.

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