- Multiple flights cancelled, without info people angry across India
- At least 82 flights from and to Delhi were cancelled
On the 1st day of resumption of domestic flights across various airports in India after 2 months of complete stop, massive chaos and confusion were witnessed at multiple cities including Delhi and Mumbai as multiple flights were cancelled and the passengers were seen complaining that no notification was given by the airlines.
As many as 82 flights were cancelled from and to Delhi and angry passengers at the Terminal 3 of the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport in Delhi claimed that they were not notified until the last minute about the cancellation.
The airport official said that the cancellation cam in accounts of several states which told the Central Government that they will not be able to operate flights which were earlier agreed to. In total, the Delhi airport will handle 243 flights today, 125 departures and 118 arrivals.
A similar scenario was also witnessed at the Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport when a lot many passengers were seen sitting outside the airport when they saw their flights were cancelled.
The first flight which took off from Delhi airport today was bound to Pune and took flight at 4:45 AM. The first flight departed from Mumbai was bound to Patna and took off at 6:45 AM.
India’s second busiest airport, Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport will handle 50 flights on a daily basis, 25 incoming and 25 departures.
A woman passenger said, “We were going to Delhi. We were told when we arrived here that the flight has been cancelled. One of the customer care employees told us that there is a flight that runs tonight and that may be, we have been rescheduled. But nothing is confirmed yet,”.
Her flight was scheduled for 11:05 AM today, however, as passengers are only allowed to do web check-ins, her airline could not confirm whether she could take the next flight to Delhi or not.
In Mumbai, long queues were seen outside the departure terminal with passenger even taking much longer than usual to even enter the airport as security personnel has to do thermal screening as well as confirm the Aarogya Setu app on their device.
Maharashtra, which is amongst the handful of states which sought time to resume the flights in view of being the state with the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country, said at the last minute that it will operate 25 arrivals and 25 departures in Mumbai. Uddhav Thackeray, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, earlier said that the said will need more time to prepare itself in order to operate flights.
Even at the Chennai airport, passengers were seen disappointed and said that their tickets were simply cancelled. A passenger was quoted by a leading news agency “From March 15, we were stuck here in Tamil Nadu due to the lockdown. We booked three tickets for Mumbai last night but while reaching here, our flight tickets were cancelled and there is no one to answer us at the help desk. We don’t know what to do now,”.
At the Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru, 9 flights were cancelled.
On Thursday, last week, the Central Government announced that 1/3 of the pre-lockdown domestic flights will operate from the 25th May 2020, i.e. today. However, added, that all the International commercial passenger flight will remain inoperational. Hardeep Puri, Aviation Minister, indicated that international flights may begin from next month, i.e. June.