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74 cancellations mar resumption of domestic flights in Bengaluru

74 cancellations mar resumption of domestic flights in Bengaluru
May 25
21:44 2020

Bengaluru, May 25 (IANS) Cancellation of 74 flights suddenly or without prior notice marred resumption of domestic flights in this tech city, two months after they were grounded due to the Covid-19 induced lockdown, an official said on Monday.

“Of the revised schedule, 43 flights took off, 31 arrived and 74 were cancelled till 5 p.m. for operational reasons,” an airport official told IANS here.

The Kempegowda International Airport, the third busiest in the country, is located 35 km north of the city centre at Devanahalli in Bengaluru Rural district.

“The first flight was of Air Asia to Ranchi at 5:15 a.m. and the first to arrive was an Indigo flight from Chennai at 7:35 a.m.,” said the official. There were 74 air traffic movements till 5 p.m.

The airport operator has geared up to handle 215 air traffic movements a day, including 108 departures and 107 arrivals.

“With states like Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal deferring resumption of domestic flights and others like Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu restricting flight movements to Mumbai and Chennai, airlines had to revise their schedules, which resulted in cancellation of flights,” said a state nodal official, tasked to monitor the movement of passengers.

The state-run Air India and other private airlines have scheduled 60 departures and 54 arrivals on the first day of resumption of domestic flights.

With the Karnataka government making seven-day institutional quarantine mandatory for passengers flying from the six most Covid-hit states, many fliers had cancelled their bookings, as they didn’t want to be ‘stranded’ again in a hotel or a hostel booked for a week-long compulsory stay.

The six states which have been hit the hardest by Covid-10 are Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

Passengers from low Covid prevalence cities or states will have to be under 14-day home quarantine.

“Airlines have been allotted slots to depart every 10 minutes,” said an official of a budget carrier.

Air India, Indigo, SpiceJet, Vistara and Air Asia are among the airlines allowed to operate one-third of their services under the new guidelines, following all the protocols issued by the government, including social distancing, wearing of masks and washing hands with sanitisers.

“As per the standard operating procedure, only asymptomatic passengers who have downloaded the Aarogya Setu app and booked the air ticket online are allowed into the airport on showing an e-boarding pass or its printed version at the entrance and after thermal screening and hand washing, the official said.

For the first time, movement of passengers for departure from parking to boarding has been made contactless to maintain physical distancing and avoid the risk of touching any surface at the airport.

“Even sanitiser dispensers have been made touch-free in the airport terminal, as also the food and beverage service and retail sales in the departure lounge.

“Passengers arriving from other cities are also screened on landing and guided for seven-day mandatory institutional quarantine at a hotel of their choice or in the designated hostels, as decided by the state government,” asserted the official.

The fumigated airport also has disinfection tunnels for passengers to pass through.

–IANS

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