Mumbai airport to see drastic fall of passengers with lockdown: Experts

Mumbai airport is likely to once again suffer low passenger footfalls with the state government imposing a lockdown in an attempt to contain the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the city and the state at large
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Published on Apr 15, 2021 12:57 AM IST
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ByNeha LM Tripathi, Mumbai

Mumbai airport is likely to once again suffer low passenger footfalls with the state government imposing a lockdown in an attempt to contain the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the city and the state at large. The Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) city, which is the second busiest airport in the country recorded 50.91 lakh passengers from January to March 2021. According to the data, CSMIA saw 41,00,639 passengers from October to December last year.

Even though the state has not imposed restrictions on air travel, Jyoti Mayal, president of Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) said no passenger is likely to fly to Mumbai and Maharashtra. “People who have just re-started their business will suffer again. Already 40% business of the travel and aviation sector has been affected due to the night curfew imposed in the state. Covid-19 cases are increasing not only because people are not wearing masks, but they are also increasing because there are no protocols in place.”

Mayal said the government needs to come up with unilateral policies for the lesser affected and hard-hit states so that a customer is not confused with changing norms in states. “The environment created currently is too negative for people to travel to Mumbai, because of which, not only the city airport but also other businesses will have to face severe repercussions soon,” she added.

Subhash Goyal, general secretary of the Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH) said citizens will have to learn to live with the virus, hence lockdowns aren’t a solution to control the spread of the virus. According to Goyal, effective control by the government and discipline in people will lead to the containment of the virus. “If a person in Singapore is caught without a mask for the first time, he is fined S$ 500 and if he is caught for the second time then he is imprisoned. Currently, with the domestic sector seeing some tourism, only hotels are seeing some business, as the remaining business continues to suffer. Mumbai sees maximum business travel along with some visiting friends and relative (VFR) traffic, however, with the news of lockdown and most Covid-19 cases in the city and state, no one is currently willing to travel to Mumbai. The only key to having controlled cases is maintaining hygiene protocols,” Goyal said.

Goyal also said that he fears more people dying of economic hunger than from the Covid-19 pandemic.

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