After a gap of two months, domestic passenger flight operations resumed on Monday amid reluctance by various states to open up their airports in view of rising cases of the novel coronavirus.
While the first flight took off from Delhi for Pune at 4.45 am under strict regulations recommended by civil aviation authorities, large number of flights were cancelled on Monday across the country.
Delhi Airport says due to states allowing fewer flights, there has been at least 82 cancellations as of now on Day 1. Delhi Airport was supposed to handle 380 flights on Day 1, 190 each arrival and departure.
As per Delhi Airport, the latest figures indicated that arrivals will stand at 118 flights, while departure will be at 125 flights, leaving 82 total flights as against scheduled plan. Both these figures can change if there's an unexpected cancellation in other states and airports.
However, states like 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 swelling cases of the coronavirus infection in their states.
The West Bengal government did not relent to a request by the civil aviation ministry to allow flight services.
It was decided on Sunday that the state will gradually permit domestic flights from May 28 under strict guidelines. Andhra Pradesh too did not allow any flights on Monday.
Airlines were jittery in resuming services as multiple states have put in place separate norms and conditions for quarantining passengers arriving there by domestic flights.
The government last week announced the resumption of domestic flight services from May 25 under specific rules and guidelines like a cap on ticket pricing, wearing of face masks by passengers, no food served on board planes and making available details of medical conditions by travellers through the Aarogya Setu app or by filling up of a self-declaration form.
With Inputs from Pti