After talks with Centre, Maharashtra allows 50 flights to operate today

Updated: May 25, 2020, 08:01 IST | A correspondent | Mumbai

As domestic flights resume from May 25, confusion reigns over quarantine rules

This picture has been used for representational purposes
This picture has been used for representational purposes

The Indian skies opened up for domestic passenger flights from Monday after a gap of two months amid confusion over what quarantine rules may apply to the travellers but there will be minimum air services and delay in resumption in some states.

The airports in Mumbai in Maharashtra and Hyderabad in Telangana will daily handle 50 and 30 flights respectively from Monday, they said. The Maharashtra government had requested the Centre to keep the air services at a minimum possible level. All the flights account for equal number of arrivals and departures, the officials added.

Vijayawada and Vizag airports in Andhra Pradesh will not operate any domestic flights on Monday but services will begin from Tuesday, they said. The revised schedule for resumption of airport operations followed reluctance by some states to deal with thousands of incoming passengers in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Bookings had opened for around 1,050 domestic flights planned for Monday but the revised schedule has led to the cancellation of several flights leaving hundreds of passengers disappointed. As India enters the last week of the thrice extended lockdown for 68 days, the resumption of domestic flights comes at a time when new Coronavirus cases in the country crossed 6,000 for the third consecutive day on Sunday.

Confusion over migrant trains
Meanwhile, a political slugfest between Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray started on Sunday after the latter claimed that the railways was not arranging enough migrant trains for the state. Goyal tweeted in the evening saying that he was giving an hour to the Maharashtra government to submit a list of trains they wanted. But with no response from the state, he kept tweeting every hour. The railways said they had to cancel about 65 trains because the state government was not prepared.

Requesting anonimity, a Central Railway official said, "We have been asking for a detailed list from the state nodal officer. Minister of Railways has also directed to run 125 trains on Monday. For the past two hours the railway authorities have been waiting for a list of passengers with details of their destinations to plan trains. Planning special trains is an elaborate process which requires time. Unless lists are given in time, it is impossible to run the trains."

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