Coronavirus outbreak: Domestic flights take-off, but passengers harried as many cancelled

Updated: May 25, 2020, 18:31 IST | IANS |

The airport was originally scheduled to handle over 100 flights, however, the state government on Sunday capped this number to 25 each

This picture has been used for representational purpose only
This picture has been used for representational purpose only

Passengers were seen harried at the national capita l's IGI Airport on Monday as over 80 domestic flights were cancelled owing to state governments' cap on accepting flights. Significantly, domestic passenger flight services were re-commenced on Monday after two-months of suspension.

Till around 1.00 p.m 82 flights were cancelled from Delhi's IGI Airport. According to industry insiders, 118 arrival and 125 departure flights are to be operated from this airport. Similarly, Mumbai's CSMIA will host 24 arrivals and 23 departures. The airport was originally scheduled to handle over 100 flights, however, the state government on Sunday capped this number to 25 each.

IANS had on Saturday and Sunday reported that new flight acceptance and quarantine norms will lead to cancellations on the intra-metro routes. 

"There was confusion among the passengers if their early morning flight was still operating or not. They had reached the Terminal at least two hours before to go through all the checks. However, airline executives and termi nal staff was able to handle the situation and most of the flights till afternoon did operate," industry insiders at the airport told IANS.

Monday's resumption comes after many anxious moments and exactly two -months after the suspension of domestic flight operations due to the outbreak of Covid-19. Accordingly, IndiGo operated its Delhi-Pune service early on Monday.

The IGI Airport will receive a SpiceJet flight from Ahmedabad later. Similarly, two flights operated at the CSMIA, while one departed from Mumbai for Patna, the first arrival was from Lucknow as the domestic flights opera tions resumed. Both operated by IndiGo, the first service to Patna flew out a t around 6.45 a.m., while the incoming flight landed around 8.20 a.m., said airport officials.

Furthermore, the re-commencement of services comes a day after massive spike in ticket cancellations, along with a drop in bookings, was reported by the aviation industry for Monday's flights as several states had moved to limit air operations.

Consequently, in order to calm nervous passengers Centre said that barring just two states rest of the country is open to accept domestic flights. On Sunday evening, Union Civil Aviation Minister, on Sunday evening tweeted that states across the country will resume domestic flight services on Monday except Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal.

The Centre had only allowed limited passenger flight operations of about one -third capacity of the summer schedule to operate between metro cities and o ther destinations from May 25, adding that this capacity might be ramped up i n the coming period.

Passenger air services were suspended for both scheduled domestic and intern ational flights since March 25, due to the imposition of the nationwide lock down in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak.

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