390 domestic flights carried over 35,000 passengers on Saturday till 5 pm: Hardeep Puri
A total of 390 domestic flights carrying 35,293 passengers operated in India till 5 PM on Saturday, said Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri.
Domestic services were suspended in India due to a coronavirus lockdown and resumed after a gap of two months on Monday. Indian carriers operated a total of 1,827 flights till Thursday -- 428 on Monday, 445 on Tuesday, 460 on Wednesday and 494 on Thursday. Puri said 513 domestic flights carrying 39,969 passengers operated on Friday.
He also mentioned on Twitter that a number of people holding valid residence permits in the UAE have been approaching the Indian government to go back to the country.
“It is up to the local authorities there to take a call on this. Currently there are restrictions on entry of foreign citizens in UAE and few other countries,” he said.
We have no problems with people having valid documents flying out of India to countries which are allowing foreigners to enter, he noted.
“Due to this restriction our evacuation flights to UAE are going empty from India. People can fly as soon as local authorities lift restrictions,” he said.
During the pre-lockdown period, Indian airports handled around 3,000 daily domestic flights, aviation industry sources said.
In February, when the lockdown was not imposed, around 4.12 lakh passengers travelled daily through domestic flights in India, according to Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) data.
Airports in West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana and Tamil Nadu have been allowed to handle a restricted number of daily flights as these states do not want a huge influx of flyers amid the rising number of COVID-19 cases.
While domestic services resumed in Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday, they restarted in West Bengal on Thursday.
Though domestic flight operations across the country began on May 25, they could not be restarted in Kolkata and Bagdogra as the West Bengal machinery was involved in relief and restoration work after cyclone Amphan’s devastation.
A total of 16 asymptomatic passengers on seven different flights, including 13 who travelled by IndiGo, have tested positive for COVID-19 since the resumption of domestic air services.
On Saturday, Puri said on Twitter: “On 30th May 2020 (Day 6) till 1700 hrs. Departures 390. 35,293 passengers handled.” In another tweet, he said: “Day 5. 29th May till 2359 hrs. Departures 513. 39,969 passengers handled. Arrivals 512. 39,972 passengers handled.” A departure is counted as a flight during the day.