Tribune News Service
New Delhi, May 25
Resumption of domestic commercial air services after a gap of nearly two months on Monday witnessed chaos and confusion at almost all airports in the country, with Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport in Delhi witnessing cancellation of around 80 flights leaving passengers in the lurch.
When contacted, officials at the IGI Airport said the cancellations are mostly on account of a few states, including West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh, refusing to allow flight operations, which they had agreed earlier and also because of some operational reasons on the part of the airlines.
“Around 80 flights to and from Delhi have been cancelled. The IGI airport is scheduled to handle a total of 125 departures and 118 arrivals on Monday,” an official said.
However, the IGI airport saw its first departure of IndiGo 6E643 flight at 4.45 am to Pune and so far arrival of SpiceJet flight from Ahmedabad at 7.45 am.
In reports emanating from Terminal-3 of IGI Airport, passengers have claimed that they were not informed till the last minute and without prior notice leading to chaotic scenes. “Only when our boarding passes were being scanned at the airport entry we were told that boarding has been cancelled. We don’t know what to do now,” a news agency quoted a passenger as saying.
Scheduled commercial passenger flights were suspended on March 25, when the Centre imposed a nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Government had announced on May 21 that one-third of the normal summer schedule domestic flights will operate from Monday. International scheduled commercial passenger flights remain suspended, but Minister for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri had on last Saturday indicated the government will try to resume them also by August this year.
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