On Monday, domestic flight operations reopened amid objection by several states to restart their airports in the wake of a surge in COVID-19 cases.
Mumbai: As domestic flights began after a gap of two months, there was confusion and chaos at airports in Delhi, Mumbai and other cities as a large number of flights were cancelled with angry passengers at Terminal 3 of Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport claiming that they were not informed till the last minute
While the first flight took off from Delhi for Pune at 4.45 am under strict directions suggested by civil aviation authorities, large number of flights were cancelled on Monday across the nation.
82 flights to and from Delhi were cancelled. Airport officials said the cancellations are on account of several states telling the central government that they will not be able to operate flights agreed upon earlier. The Delhi airport will handle a total of 125 departures and 118 arrivals today.
However, states like Maharashtra, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu, which are home to some of the busiest airports in the country, were hesitant to permit domestic flights from their airports, referring surge in infections in their states.
The total cases in India surged to 1,38,845 including over 55,000 cured/discharged or migrated and more than 4,000 deaths amid lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19.
In the past 24 hours, 154 casualties were recorded. A staggering 6,977 cases new cases of COVID-19 were recorded in the last 24 hours, highest so far.
India is the 10th worst-affected country in terms of the total number of COVID-19 cases, overtaking China and Iran. However, its tally of active cases exceeds those of some top-ten countries including Spain, Italy, Germany, Turkey and Iran.
(Inputs from agencies)