Several fear-struck fliers in Mumbai stayed home on Thursday morning, forcing domestic carriers to cancel several flights and club others during peak departure hours.
Ten domestic flights flying out of the city were cancelled in the first half of the day.
“Kingfisher, Jet Airways, Indigo and Air India (Indian) cancelled flights because of low passenger turnout,” said the spokesperson for Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL). Arrival of flights was also affected.
Jet and Kingfisher, which hold 60 per cent of the domestic market share, also cancelled a few flights coming to Mumbai. The low passenger turnout also forced some airlines to club flights. Delhi-bound Air India flight IC-601, scheduled for departure at 6 am, was combined with IC-806 and left an hour later.
Earlier in the wee hours of Thursday, Lufthansa, Air France and North West cancelled flights because the crew could not reach the airport.
The construction work at the airport has been stalled for a couple of days as a security measure. “Hundreds of casual labourers work inside the airport, including the sensitive parts of the airfield. The measure has been taken to restrict their entry,” said the airport spokesperson.
Further, airlines conducted physical frisking of passengers before they climbed the aircraft ladder. Every 15 minutes, dustbins inside the airports were checked by a dog squad.
Airlines have advised passengers to reach the airport early with valid photo-identification.