Ever since the festive season began, Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport has witnessed an increase in passenger footfall, recording 1.9 million domestic passengers in October — 42 per cent of the average monthly pre-Covid traffic. One million international passengers also travelled to and from the Delhi airport from May 25 to October, an official from the Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) said.
With 69 domestic destinations, the airport is the most well-connected in the country. In the last few months, the top five travel destinations have been Mumbai, Patna, Srinagar, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. An official said, “Of late, people have been traveling to visit friends and family in other cities. This peak festive season continues till December. Many who would not generally travel by flight are now opting for it since it is a safe means of travel.”
In view of the festive season, the Ministry of Civil Aviation said that Indian airlines can operate 70 percent of the pre-Covid domestic flights. The airport is connected to 20 countries via air bubbles, as opposed to 51 from pre-Covid times. It is connected to 66 international travel destinations. The airport recorded many inbound travellers from Dubai, Changi, Bangkok, Heathrow, and Kathmandu during the festive season, the official said.
To ensure safety, DIAL teams have been sanitising terminals and taking measures to make travel contactless. These include the use of a UV-tunnel for sanitising check-in luggage, RT-PCR test facilities at the airport, and the introduction of Air Suvidha — a portal that offers contactless service to fliers.
Videh Kumar Jaipuriar, the DIAL CEO, said, “The prevailing pandemic situation has hit the aviation sector critically. At this testing time, DIAL continues to stand on its commitment to provide safe and healthy world-class amenities and facilities to the flyers… With the recent announcement by the government to permit up to 70% of domestic slots in the coming days, we are hopeful of achieving the pre-Covid levels soon.”
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