Updated: October 8, 2021 11:58:39 am
There was a heavy rush at the Mumbai International Airport on Friday morning as Mumbaikars left the city for their hometowns for the Navratri festival. The terminal looked like a crowded railway station.
A spokesperson of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport attributed the surge in passengers to the onset of the festive season, and said “similar experiences have also been witnessed in other city airports”. The spokesperson said additional staff had been deployed to ensure a quicker turnaround and smoother passenger experience, and that Covid-19 protocols were in place.
Meanwhile, an official of Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) said, “We had anticipated this rush and hence shifted some of the airlines to Santacruz terminal.”
Additional Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani of the Brihammumbai Municipal Commission said, “We have told the airport to enforce Covid-appropriate behaviour. I will also tell my health department staff to intervene and tell the airport. We fear these travellers may return with Covid-19. Social distancing has to be maintained.”
A first officer of an airline said, “We take utmost care while in flights, but this crowd with no social distance was horrible. Some of them had not covered their faces properly.”
Several people took to Twitter to share photographs of the rush.
Prakash Gagdani, CEO of 5paisa Capital Ltd, tweeted, “Mumbai airport is a mess and it takes at least one hour to check in and then this crowd for security check. How can one board a flight even after reaching two and half hours before.”
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