Airports open their doors for domestic passengers after two months

Domestic air travel resumed on May 25 after two months even as a number of States were unenthusiastic about opening up their airports in view of rising COVID-19 cases causing around 630 flights to be cancelled.

According to aviation industry sources, around 630 domestic flights of May 25 were cancelled due to the Centre’s May 24 night announcement that there would be no flights in West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh, and limited operations at major airports such as Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad.

Consequently, many passengers reached the airports on May 25 only to be told by the airline staff that their flights have been cancelled. Many people took to social media to vent their anger.

(Text: PTI)

Passengers leaving the T3 Indira Gandhi International Teminal on May 25, 2020. Domestic operations began at the Indira Gandhi International Airport on Monday with 118 departures and 125 arrivals scheduled. Several flights which were scheduled to operate were cancelled last minute as many States put restrictions on air travel. Photo: V.V. Krishnan
The cabin crew of Indigo airlines. The Civil Aviation Ministry has made it mandatory for the cabin crew to wear personal protective equipment throughout the journey. Photo: Special Arrangement
A store at Delhi airport selling hand sanitisers and personal hygiene products. Airports are encouraging passengers to opt for digital payment over cash for transactions. Photo: Jaideep Deo Bhanj
A passenger being screened at the T3 Indira Gandhi International Teminal. As per the latest Standard Operating Procedure, a passenger will have to show a copy of the ticket and his/her ID proof to CISF staff, seated inside a glass booth. When the passenger steps inside, his/her temperature will be checked. Photo: V.V. Krishnan
A passenger shows Arogya Setu app notification that says he is free from COVID-19, at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Domestic Airport in Ahmedabad. Airlines have made it mandatory for all flyers to download the Arogya Setu app. Children below the age of 14 years are exempted from this. Photo: Vijay Soneji
A passenger comes out of Madurai Airport. The Tamil Nadu government on May 24, 2020, issued the SoP for domestic flyers. Asymptomatic passengers landing in Tamil Nadu airports will have to be on home quarantine and if they don’t have a residence here, they will be sent for institutional quarantine at designated hotels, the State government said in a release. Photo: G. Moorthy
Upon arrival, Nagpur municipal authorities affix a “14-days home quarantine stamp” on passengers wrist at Nagpur’s Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport. The Maharashtra government, which was initially reluctant to allow any flights in Mumbai and Pune, changed its stand after CHief Minister Uddhav Thackeray spoke to Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri. Photo: S. Sudarshan
Passengers maintain physical distance as they arrive at Jai Prakash Narayan International Airport in Patna. A total of 16 flights will take off from Patna airport on the first day, while 17 flights will land. Patna district administration has allowed autos, e-rickshaws and taxis to ply from the airport, despite lockdown. Photo: Ranjeet Kumar
Middle seats have been marked with a cross mark at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Domestic Airport to ensure physical distancing. As a preventive measure, it has been made mandatory for flyers, airport staff and airline staff to wear face masks and gloves while staying in the airport. Photo: Vijay Soneji
The departure schedule displayed at Mangaluru International Airport on May 25. Restrictions on number of flights by some States, some of them mandating institutional quarantine, has led to cancellation of several arrivals and outbound flights. Many passengers also cancelled their trips in the last moment. Photo: Special Arrangement
A CISF personnel checks the air ticket of a passenger at Madras airport. Airlines have asked passengers to opt for web check in to minimise human to human interaction during the times of pandemic. The stamping on boarding passes have also been done away with. Photo: B. Velankanni Raj
Medical staff arrive at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, in Mumbai. The Maharashtra government on May 24 agreed to have 25 commercial flight departures and arrivals each from Mumbai airport. Pune and Nagpur airports, operated by the Airports Authority of India, said 33% of pre-COVID-19 flights would be allowed. Photo: Arunangsu Roy Chowdhury
Passengers undergoes thermal screening process at Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru on May 25, 2020.
Passengers undergoes thermal screening process at Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru on Monday. Sources in the KIA said that the airport would handle 54 arrivals and 60 departures on the first day of resuming operations. Photo: Sudhakara Jain
A passenger seen with a PPE suit at the T3 Indira Gandhi International Teminal, in New Delhi on May 25, 2020, under standard operating procedures laid by the Airports Authority of Indian (AAI) services resumed after two months of lockdown.
A passenger seen with a PPE suit at the T3 Indira Gandhi International Teminal, in New Delhi. The Supreme Court on May 25 allowed the Centre and national carrier Air India to keep operating its scheduled flights with the middle seats filled for the next ten days while observing that the government should be more worried about the health of citizens rather than the health of commercial airlines. Photo: V.V. Krishnan
Telangana State Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar and other officials inspect the operations at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) in Shamshabad, Hyderabad. Many domestic flights were cancellled even as passengers arrived at the airport. While 120 flights were scheduled to either land or take flight today — the first day of opening the skies for domestic arrivals and departures after the lockdown — only 40 were operated. Photo: Special Arrangement
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