The flights, operated by Air India, were cancelled after the first one was denied permission by the DGCA to land at the Srinagar airport, officials at the airport said.
The flights were scheduled to arrive with two batches of pilgrims from Jeddah as the arrival of pilgrims after the culmination of annual holy pilgrimage started today.
However, both were delayed at the New Delhi airport. When one flight finally took off from the capital, it was asked to return mid-air from over Kulgam in south Kashmir, the officials said.
An official of the airline said the flight returned to New Delhi because “the DGCA denied permission to land”.
He said the airline is making arrangements for the pilgrims to reach Srinagar tomorrow.
When the waiting family members of the pilgrims at the airport were told that the flights were cancelled, they started protesting. The police had to resort to lathi-charge to disperse them, airport officials said.