IAF and Delhi International
The Independent: Air Force Majeure
Sometimes the decisions of Indian officialdom defy belief. For several days in a row, Delhi's international airport was closed to all flights for hours, right in the middle of busiest time of day, so that the Indian air force could practise for an air show. Flights were delayed for hours. On the ground, huge crowds of passengers waited in misery while incoming flights circled overhead.
With hundreds of bases all over India to choose from, it was curious that the air force insisted on practising at the country's main tourist airport. One flight, from London, had to circle for so long that it ran out of fuel and was forced to divert to Pakistan. This was hardly a happy result for India, diverting visitors to its arch-rival. Lahore airport was only too happy to receive them.
Yet the air force did not appear remotely chastened by the debacle. When challenged, one of their brass hats replied that the airlines had been given plenty of notice and should have rearranged their timetables to suit military needs.