Donald Trump made a grand entrance on the first day of his presidential visit to India with a speech in front of tens of thousands of people in a cricket stadium in Ahmedabad. However, the arrival of the politician had a knock-on effect on the city. Road closures and diversions had forced a GoAir flight to be delayed by around two hours this morning.
Flight G8 459 was due to leave Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport for Mumbai at 09.25. However, the Airbus A320 didn’t depart until 11:30. Thereafter, the aircraft arrived at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport at around 12:17.
Passengers were informed by crew members that the delay was because of pilot unavailability. However, the Mumbai-based airline has since shared that the US president’s arrival influenced the flight.
According to Hindustan Times, a spokesperson for GoAir said the following:
“The flight was delayed due to US President- Donald Trump’s visit.”
In a bid to minimize impact, the low-cost carrier issued a notification to its passengers to leave for the airport earlier than usual. This was due to traffic diversions caused by the US’ president’s visit to the state of Gujarat.
According to the report, the notice said the following:
“You are requested to keep three hours in hand before the scheduled departure of your flights and carry hard copy of your flight details for the police and airport authorities to facilitate your travel towards the airport.”
Trump has been busy keeping up appearances during a critical time for him as he seeks to retain his presidency this year. Just last week, a campaign visit to Las Vegas forced road closures around McCarran International Airport. This visit also caused several passengers to be delayed.
VIPs in town
Today, it wasn’t just the arrival of Trump that would have forced the travel disruptions. The politician was joined by Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister. Modi is a native to Gujarat and is massively popular with several groups in his home state.
मैं इसी लिए भारत आया हूँ, सद्भावना और प्रेम के साथ ताकि हम अपनी अभिलाषा प्रतीक अपनी सांझेदारी और अविश्वसनीय विस्तार सकें l pic.twitter.com/gywJmRek1Y
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 24, 2020
Later today, the president made his way to Agra with first lady Melania Trump to see the Taj Mahal before arriving in the Indian capital of New Delhi. With the household names hopping around several Indian cities, it’s advisable to leave early if their tour stops near a hub that you’re flying out of.
Simple Flying reached out to GoAir for comment on how Trump’s visit forced the delay of its service but we did not hear back before publication. We will update the article with any further announcements.
What do you think about Trump’s visit to India causing delays for passengers? Let us know your thoughts on the situation in the comment section.