Six hundred plus flights get cancelled on Monday, as air travel gets mired in lock-down blues


Indian domestic air travel may have resumed on Monday after being grounded for two months, but with many states remaining skeptical about opening airports, over 600 flights were cancelled in just one day alone.

Flights are yet to resume in large states like West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh, and operations in airports including Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad are not in full swing yet.

Many passengers reached the airports on Monday only to be told by the airline staff that their flights have been cancelled.

West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh governments did not relent to the requests by the Civil Aviation Ministry to allow flight services from Monday. It was decided on Sunday that Kolkata and Bagdogra airports in cyclone-hit West Bengal will not operate any domestic flight between May 25 and 27, but will handle 20 flights daily from May 28.

Moreover, Vijayawada and Vizag airports in Andhra Pradesh will handle just 20% of their pre-lockdown flights from May 26. Mumbai airport, which is India’s second busiest airport, will handle only 50 flights daily from Monday, the Centre said, adding Chennai airport will see only 25 arrivals per day. There were no limits set on departures from Chennai airport. Hyderabad in Telangana will handle just 30 flights every day from Monday, the government said.

Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Bihar, Punjab, Assam and Andhra Pradesh, among others, have announced their own quarantine measures for passengers arriving at their airports. Some states have decided to put passengers in institutional quarantine while several others have talked about putting them in home quarantine.