460 domestic flights carrying 34,336 passengers operated on May 27: Aviation Minister

Domestic flight operations resumed in India on Monday (May 25) after a gap of two months

Hardeep Puri says there is a massive opportunity for investors across the aviation ecosystem, including airports, airlines, ground-handling, maintenance, repair, and overhaul. File photo: PTI

A total of 460 domestic flights carrying 34,336 passengers were operated on Wednesday (May 27), Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Thursday (May 28).

Domestic flight operations resumed in India on Monday (May 25) after a gap of two months. A total of 428 and 445 domestic services were operated in the country on Monday and Tuesday (May 26) respectively.

In February this year, when the lockdown was not imposed, around 4.12 lakh passengers travelled every day through domestic flights in India, according to Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) data.

Aviation industry sources said during the pre-lockdown period, Indian airports handled around 3,000 domestic flights daily.

“India is flying high. Domestic operation figures for May 27, 2020 (till 23.59 hrs): Departures 460 with 34,336 passengers handled. Arrivals 464 with 33,525 passengers handled,” Puri said on Twitter.

However, there is confusion on the topic of number of flights operated and how they are recorded. If a flight takes off before midnight and lands in another airport after midnight, its departure and arrival are counted on different days, leading to a seeming mismatch in the figures of a particular day.

International passenger flights continue to remain suspended in the country. All scheduled domestic passenger services were suspended in India from March 25 to May 24 due to restrictions in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Airports in West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu have been allowed to handle a restricted number of daily flights as these states do not want a huge influx of flyers amid the rising number of COVID-19 cases.

These states had earlier sought to keep flight services suspended for a few more days due to the spike in COVID-19 cases.

West Bengal had also cited Cyclone Amphan as another reason behind why they would not be able to resume flight operations at Kolkata airport.

(With inputs from agencies)

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