New Delhi: On the first day of the resumption of operations, over 532 flights carrying 39,231 passengers were made operational on Monday.Also Read - 'A Long Day of Hard Negotiations,' Says Hardeep Singh Puri as India Gets Ready to Resume Domestic Flights
Taking to Twitter, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Monday said that the action has returned to Indian skies. Also Read - More Flights Soon, International Travel Before September, Hardeep Singh Puri Answers on Facebook Live
He said that with Andhra Pradesh set to resume operations from Tuesday, West Bengal from May 28, these numbers are all set to increase further. Also Read - Domestic Flights: Operations Can Resume in Three Days But States Have to Agree, Says Hardeep Singh Puri
“From no domestic passenger flights yesterday to 532 flights and 39,231 passengers today, action has returned to Indian skies. With Andhra Pradesh set to resume operations from tomorrow & West Bengal from 28 May, these numbers are all set to increase further,” Puri said in a tweet.
The statement from the Aviation Minister came as domestic flights resumed operation after two months even as a number of states were unenthusiastic about opening up their airports in view of rising COVID-19 cases.
As per updates from the aviation industry, around 630 domestic flights of Monday were cancelled due to the Centre’s Sunday night announcement that there would be no flights in West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh, and limited operations at major airports such as Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad.
Amid the confusion, many passengers reached the airports on Monday only to be told by the airline staff that their flights have been cancelled. Many people took to social media to express their resentment over the cancellation of their flights.
As per reports, bookings had opened on May 22 for around 1,100 domestic flights for Monday. These airlines, which were allowed to operate one-third of their pre-lockdown domestic services, have been busy since Sunday night to further rework their flight schedules.
On Monday, the first day of the flight operation amid lockdown, the domestic flights took off from Delhi for Pune at 4.45 AM under strict regulations recommended by civil aviation authorities. The first flight from Mumbai to Patna was at 6.45 AM.
On the other hand, states such as Maharashtra, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu, which are home to some of the busiest airports in the country, were reluctant to allow domestic flight services from their airports, citing rising COVID-19 cases.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation had last week announced the resumption of domestic flight services from May 25 under specific rules and guidelines.