Numerous passengers were stuck at Tan Son Nhat International Airport as departing flights were delayed, while arriving planes were not able to land at the Ho Chi Minh City airfield due to heavy and prolonged downpours caused by storm Usagi, which downgraded into a tropical depression on Sunday afternoon.
Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air and Jetstar Pacific all announced delays of several flights departing from Tan Son Nhat on Sunday night due to bad weather caused by the ninth tropical storm that hit Vietnam this year.
Dao Thi H. had already completed check-in procedures for her Vietnam Airlines flight VN1266 from Ho Chi Minh City to Vinh, the capital of the north-central province of Nghe An, scheduled for departure at 4:20 pm, when she learned that the flight was delayed.
The passenger had to spend the night at the airport until the morning of Monday creeped in, she told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.
Another Vietnam Airlines passenger, Ho Duc T., also had to sleep at Tan Son Nhat as his Da Nang-bound flight VN140 was delayed from 8:00 pm on Sunday to 6:00 am the following morning.
At the domestic terminal, the departure lounge was filled with passengers, leaving almost no space, while some flyers even had to sit on the ground.
|Passengers wait for the departure of their flight at the Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City, on November 25, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
Several passengers were apparently exhausted over the hours-long wait for departure.
They had to open and spread their raincoats and clothes on the floor to take a rest as no flight could take off earlier than 1:00 am Monday.
At the same time, passengers had to queue to change their flight tickets to match with the new departures.
Arriving flights delayed, diverted
Heavy rains also prevented multiple flights from arriving at Tan Son Nhat on time. The planes had to either keep flying around the Ho Chi Minh City airdrome before landing were allowed or land at an alternative airport.
Passengers on Jetstar flight BL555 of from Vinh to Ho Chi Minh City on Sunday night told Tuoi Tre that the airline had announced the flight would take off hours behind schedule due to the heavy rains at Tan Son Nhat.
Many passengers of the delayed flights were worried that they could not be in Ho Chi Minh City on time to attend important events, such as the weekly meeting at their companies.
|Passengers take a rest on raincoats at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City on November 25, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
Similarly, a flight from the Phu Bai Airport in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue to the southern metropolis was also delayed, while the Vietjet flight VJ199 from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City had to divert to Da Nang.
Two Vietjet flights from the northern city of Hai Phong, VJ281 and VJ279, were re-routed to Da Nang and the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho, respectively, waiting for better weather to turn back to the destined city.
Flight VJ261 from Dong Hoi Airport in the central province of Quang Binh to Ho Chi Minh City changed direction to Da Nang, waiting for better weather to continue the journey.
International flights also failed to land at the Tan Son Nhat International Airport several times on Sunday.
The Malaysia Airlines flight MH766 that left Kuala Lumpur at 5:10 pm was unable to land in the Vietnamese city at 6:05 pm as scheduled. The Airbus A330 eventually had to fly to Bangkok after two failed attempts of landing at Tan Son Nhat.
|Passengers wait for the departure of their flight to Tan Son Nhat International Airport at the Vinh Airport in the north-central province of Nghe An, on November 25, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
Similarly, many passengers on the flight TG556 of Thai Airways from Bangkok-based Suvarnabhumi International Airport to Tan Son Nhat said that the aircraft could not land in Ho Chi Minh City after 40 minutes of flying around since the captain announced that they arrived at the airport.
Thu Dung, a resident in Phu Nhuan District and one of the passengers on this flight, told Tuoi Tre that the plane returned to Thailand and would fly back to Ho Chi Minh City on another flight at 8:00 am Monday.
A representative of Tan Son Nhat International Airport said that the flight congestion was unavoidable because of torrential rains that lasted a whole day in Ho Chi Minh City on Sunday.
The flights were delayed to ensure flight safety, the representative said.
Not only Tan Son Nhat, the Cam Ranh Airport in Nha Trang and Lien Khuong in Da Lat also denied departure and landing for a number of flights on Sunday due to the storm, according to a representative of Vietjet.
For instance, Vietjet flight VJ779 from Hanoi to Nha Trang had to change direction to land in Da Nang.
|Passengers change their flight tickets at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City on November 25, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre|