In a U-turn, Maharashtra permits 25 departures, 25 landings to be operated from Mumbai airport
Maharashtra on Sunday allowed 25 flights to land and 25 more to take off from the Mumbai international airport beginning tomorrow May 25, when domestic flights will start partial operations amid lockdown, Maharashtra Minorities Affairs Minister Nawab Malik said on Sunday.
“The Mumbai International Airport will operate 50 flights in and out on a daily basis starting Monday onwards. The number of flights will be increased steadily,” Malik said.
“Starting May 25, 2020, CSMIA will resume 25 commercial passenger flight movements on departure and 25 on arrival. The initiative comes after the directive issued by the Ministry of Civil Aviation as well as after the state minister gave approval to recommence domestic flight operations to and from Mumbai,” a Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) spokesperson said.
The minister, a senior NCP leader, made the statement hours after Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that he had sought more time from the Civil Aviation Ministry to restart domestic flight services at the Mumbai airport.
Earlier in the day, state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said that it was “extremely ill-advised” to reopen airports in red zones amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Barely hours before domestic flight services are due to begin in the country on a staggered basis from Monday, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray earlier on Sunday had said that the state needed more time from the Civil Aviation Ministry for restarting operations at the Mumbai International Airport.
Thackeray had earlier also emphasised that the minimum possible domestic flights should be allowed from the Covid-19 hit state.
“I spoke to Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri today and told him that the Mumbai international airport needs more time to resume domestic flight operations,” Uddhav Thackeray had said in an online news briefing.
Maharashtra happens to be the worst-hit by the coronavirus pandemic, with Covid-19 positive cases crossing the 50,000 mark on Sunday. At least 1,635 people have succumbed to the deadly coronavirus infection till date in the state.