Subsequent to two months of no flight services across India, domestic passenger flights are ultimately starting today with a reduced number. In the midst of confusion over the stand of state government in starting flight operation, passengers began getting in line outside airports from the previous night to catch early morning flight to get back home.
Aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri issued a tweet this morning, “Today, we restart domestic flights. India's civil aviation is always on the forefront.” despite that many passengers waiting for their flights in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and other airports complained about it being cancelled without any prior notice.
Here’s all you need to know:
* Approximately 80 flights flying in and out of the Delhi Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport have been cancelled on the first day.
Passengers of an Air India Bengaluru-Hyderabad flight statd that their flight has been cancelled, without any prior notice from the airline. As per the news agency ANI, the passengers said, "Only when our boarding passes were scanned at the airport entry we were told that boarding has been cancelled. We don't know what to do now."
Passenger at Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International airport said that her Air India flight to Delhi has been cancelled without any prior notice.
* Till 9 am on Monday, 5 flights landed at Bengaluru's Kempegowda International airport and 17 flights departed and 9 flights were cancelled. The first flight from Lucknow took off for Ahmedabad on Monday morning. Another flight from Bengaluru to Ranchi took off 5.15 am with 173 passengers and 3 infants.
* Uncertainty carried on till late night before the resumption of flights over the number of flights being operated from different airports and whether the state governments who had raised objections to resuming flights, will operate flights or not.
* The state of Maharashtra at last gave nod on Sunday night to resume flights from Mumbai but with a reduced number. The government has permitted 25 flights to fly out and 25 others to fly in to Mumbai in the midst of the coronavirus which has hit Maharashtra the hardest. West Bengal, which is dwindling with the devastation caused by Cyclone Amphan, has said it will resume flight operations from May 28.
* Passengers in all airports are being screened at the gates by personnel wearing face shields and masks. Baggages are also going through thermal screening at the airports. Passengers onboard a Delhi-Bhubaneswar Vistara flight were seen wearing face shields as a preventative measure against Covid-19.
* Civil Aviation Minister on Monday morning stated that, “We brought back more than 30,000 stranded Indians on Vande Bharat flights since 6 May 2020. We flew 917 tons of medical & essential cargo on Lifeline UDAN flights since 26 March 2020. Today, we restart domestic flights. India's civil aviation is always on the forefront.”
* Passengers have been lining up outside nodal airports such as Mumbai and Delhi from the previous night to make sure they don’t miss their flights. Most of these passengers were stranded in different cities.
* After raising objection on resumption of flights amid the coronavirus pandemic, Tamil Nadu government has permitted passenger operations at the airports in Chennai and three other cities and issued guidelines. Tamil Nadu has said passengers will have to go through 14-days home quarantine and will need an e-pass for entry.
* Vijayawada and Vizag airports in Andhra Pradesh will not start any domestic flights operations on Monday but services will begin from Tuesday.
* Bookings had opened for more or less 1,050 domestic flights for Monday but the revised schedule has led to cancellation of several flights leaving several passengers disappointed. The airlines were allowed to operate one-third of their capacity.