New Delhi: West Bengal, battling the twin crises of COVID-19 and Cyclone Amphan, will see resumption of domestic flight operations from May 28, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) said on Sunday. The state had made a request to the Civil Aviation Ministry for deferment of domestic flight operations from here. Also Read - After Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, West Bengal Says No to Domestic Flights From Tomorrow | Will Tickets be Cancelled?
In a statement today, the AAI said, “As West Bengal government is involved in restoration work after Amphan Cyclone, the state government requested the Civil Aviation Ministry to defer resumption of flights from Kolkata Airport. Accordingly, flights will resume from Kolkata from 28 May, with reduced schedule.” Also Read - Cyclone Amphan: After West Bengal's Request, Army Sends 5 Columns For Help in Relief Work
Separately, but on a related note, Subramani P, Director of Siliguri’s Bagdogra Airport said that from here too, flights will resume services from May 28.
Kolkata and Bagdogra are, notably, West Bengal’s two busiest and the only two international airports.
Domestic air travel nationwide is scheduled to resume from tomorrow, two months after being suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, fearing that an influx of returnees might possibly lead to a spike in coronavirus cases, West Bengal, besides Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu-the two worst-hit states respectively-had objected to the Centre’s decision to resume domestic flight operations. In West Bengal’s case, it is also currently dealing with the fallout of Cyclone Amphan, which hit the state on Wednesday, and has left a trail of destruction behind.
A total of 86 people have lost their lives due to Cyclone Amphan in West Bengal.
On the coronavirus front, the state today recorded 208 new cases and three deaths. Its current COVID-19 count has thus spiked to 3,667, of which 2,203 are active cases and 203 are casualties.