Online booking platforms see surge in flight bookings

A mat being arranged next to a disinfection tunnel at Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru, Friday.

A mat being arranged next to a disinfection tunnel at Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru, Friday.   | Photo Credit: AP

People planning to fly to Kempegowda International Airport seek clarity on health protocol

Online booking platforms are seeing a surge in demand for flight tickets after the Civil Aviation Ministry announced that domestic services will resume from May 25 after a gap of two months. Sectors such as Bengaluru-Delhi and Bengaluru-Mumbai are seeing a huge demand, said travel operators.

A spokesperson of Make My Trip told The Hindu that demand has increased sevenfold. “Our data shows people are booking flight tickets to metropolitan cities such as Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi and others,” they said.

On Friday, tickets from Bengaluru to Delhi ranged from ₹8,000 to ₹11,000 and those from Bengaluru to Mumbai hovered between ₹4,500 and ₹5,500.

Many people who had booked tickets for April and May but could not travel due to the lockdown took to social media to ask booking sites to readjust their tickets for new dates. However, despite the apparent surge in demand, passengers have sought clarity on quarantine rules.

While Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said there will be no 14-day quarantine for passengers as it is not practical, people hoping to come to Karnataka by air want clarity from the State government.

Social media handles run by the government here were flooded with queries from people. The State government had recently announced that it had restricted people coming from States such as Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, and Gujarat due to the high number of COVID-19 cases. “I want to know what the health protocol is once I land at Kempegowda International Airport (KIA),” said a musician from Mumbai with family in Bengaluru.

Others posted similar queries on the Twitter handles of DIPR_Covid-19. A man from Pune asked about whether passengers will need e-passes to enter Bengaluru. One parent announced that she was hesitant to book tickets for herself and her children until the Karnataka government issues clear guidelines for air passengers. “There is no clarity on health protocol one needs to follow after reaching the airport. Institutional quarantine with small kids will be difficult. The State government should clear these doubts as early as possible,” she said.

Officials have maintained the health protocol for domestic flight passengers has been discussed and that the State government is expected to come out with order. “At present, institutional quarantine is mandatory for people coming in repatriation flights and by train from other States,” said a senior official.

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Printable version | Jun 5, 2020 8:18:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/online-booking-platforms-see-surge-in-flight-bookings/article31654361.ece

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