Delhi airport will relocate ultraviolet tunnels installed outside the departure terminal to sanitize passengers' luggage amid the COVID-19 pandemic to the inline baggage handling system, its operator DIAL said on Thursday. Once the new system is put in place, passengers will not have to queue up at the departure forecourt area and go through manual loading and unloading of baggage.
Before resumption of domestic passenger flights in May, the Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) had installed eight UV tunnels outside the entry gates in the departure forecourt area of Terminal 3. "Flyers used to sanitize their baggage before entering the terminal to board their flight. The decision to shift these UV tunnels was taken after passenger queues were observed during peak hours," the GMR group-led DIAL said in a press statement.
"The DIAL has planned to relocate UV tunnels at the inline baggage handling system by the end of this month. As all departure luggage are routed through it, hence it will ensure sanitisation of all check-in baggage," it said. The flyers can directly go to the check-in counter, drop their baggage and the inline system will ensure their sanitisation automatically, the release said.
All passenger flights are currently being operated from Delhi airport's Terminal 3 due to less air traffic amid the pandemic. India resumed domestic passenger flights from May 25 after a gap of two months due to the pandemic. Airlines have been allowed to operate only a maximum of 45 per cent of their pre-COVID domestic flights.
However, the occupancy rate in Indian domestic flights has been around 50-60 per cent since May 25. Earlier this month, India had formed bilateral air bubbles with countries like the UAE, the US, Germany and France that allows airlines of both the countries in the pact to operate special international charter flights under certain restrictions.
Scheduled international passenger flights continue to remain suspended in India since March 23. The aviation sector has been significantly impacted due to travel restrictions imposed in India and other countries in view of the pandemic. All airlines in India have taken cost-cutting measures such as pay cuts, leave without pay and firings of employees in order to conserve cash.
Since May 6, international charter flights have been operated by Air India under the Vande Bharat Mission to help stranded people reach their destinations. Private carriers have also operated a certain number of flights under this mission.(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)