On the first day of resumption of domestic flights after a two-month hiatus, several flights were cancelled across airports in metro cities like Delhi and Mumbai, leaving hundreds of hopeful passengers disgruntled.
At least 82 flights at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport were cancelled.
Confused and irate passengers said they were not informed about the cancellation till the last minute.
At Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, many passengers were seen waiting outside the airport after their flights were cancelled.
“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,” a woman, waiting at the Mumbai airport told NDTV.
Maharashtra government has allowed 25 takeoffs and 25 landings every day from Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International airport. A passenger at the airport says that her Air India flight to Delhi today has been cancelled without prior notice. pic.twitter.com/A5KOLtjUs6
— ANI (@ANI) May 25, 2020
The Maharashtra government has allowed 25 take offs and 25 landings every day from the airport.
Similar scenes were witnessed at the Bengaluru airport where many passengers complained that their flights were cancelled without informing them.
“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,” ANI quoted a stranded passenger as saying.
At Hyderabad, IndiGo’s flight to Guwahati and Air India’s flight to Bengaluru were cancelled.
“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,” Viswanathan, a passenger, was quoted by ANI as saying.
According to NDTV at least nine flights were cancelled at Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport.
A flight from Pune was the first to take off from Delhi at 4.45 am. It was followed by a Patna-bound flight which took off from Mumbai airport at 6.45 am.
A hustle-and-bustle accompanied by long queues were witnessed across airports in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Bhubaneswar, Guwahati and Ahmadabad as people gathered to board flights after a long wait.
Acrylic sheets were put up at counters at many airports for the safety of staff and passengers and sanitizer-vending machines were also set up at key locations.
Passengers were thermal screened at entrances and security personnel checked if they had downloaded the Aarogya Setu app on their phones. On planes, they were given face covers and masks while air crew wore PPEs.
“We’re strictly following government’s guidelines to ensure safety against COVID-19. Today has been a different experience as we’re not used to wearing protective gear over our uniforms. All passengers followed the guidelines,” said flight attendant on Vistara’s Delhi-Bhubaneswar flight.
“Today morning onwards, processes have been working very well. All processes have been made contactless. We are screening all passengers. All the surfaces are being sanitized every 20-30 minutes,” Hari Marar, managing director and CEO of Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL) told ANI.