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Monday, July 06, 2020

Domestic flights resume in Delhi, over 80 cancellations leave flyers in a fix

In the departure area of Terminal 3, passengers lined up for check-in wearing masks and gloves and many even with face screens. Among those were people who were happy at the thought of being home by evening for Eid.

Written by Amil Bhatnagar , Sukrita Baruah | New Delhi | Updated: May 25, 2020 3:12:00 pm
finance minister nirmala sitharaman economic package, nirmala sitharaman aviation sector, atmanirbhar bharat abhiyan, coronavirus economic package, relief package covid The airport opened to a far lesser number of people as compared to those in March amid strict social distancing protocols.

Around 82 flights — departures and arrivals — were cancelled at Delhi airport even as domestic passenger flight operations resumed at T3 terminal on Monday after a gap of two months. While 118 flights are scheduled to arrive in Delhi on Monday, 125 are to depart.

The airport opened to a far lesser number of people as compared to those in March amid strict social distancing protocols. While the plan was to initially make a third of the pre-lockdown flights operational, some states have drawn up their own guidelines and requested the Centre to curtail the number, leading to cancellations.

Most passengers who arrived were stuck in different cities due to the lockdown. Among them was Antriksh Singh (32), who was stuck at Bengaluru and was waiting for his brother to pick him up.

“I have to travel to Bulandshahr and was in Bangalore for the past two months. I could not make it back home as the lockdown was announced all of a sudden. I had been looking forward to this day for a long time since I haven’t met my wife in all this while. It is a good feeling to be able to go home finally,” said Antriksh, who will be driving down to Bulandshahr after getting an inter-state pass.

In the departure area of Terminal 3, passengers lined up for check-in wearing masks and gloves and many even with face screens. Among those were people who were happy at the thought of being home by evening for Eid.

“There are certain health concerns about flying but my wife needs to join her new job at Varanasi soon and I got the opportunity to be with my parents on the evening of Eid. My family car will come to pick me up from the airport,” said Mohammad Faisal, a doctor who works in Delhi.

However, many were left disappointed because of the cancellations. Tapan Sen (42) found that his flight to Bagdogra in West Bengal had been cancelled only after he reached the airport.

“I was in Jammu for work but have been stuck there since the Janata curfew. When I saw that domestic flights would resume, I booked tickets on a portal on May 22. I left Jammu last night on a special train, reached New Delhi railway station at 5 am and took a cab to the airport from there. I reached at 6 am and only when I tried to check in, I was told that my flight has been cancelled,” he said.

Sen finally booked another flight to Guwahati on another airline. “I have booked a flight to Guwahati and from there I’ll apply for an e-pass to get to Bagdogra by road,” he said.

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