Domestic flight resumes at RGIA airport

Tue 26 May 2020, 12:10:59
After two months of watching gigantic steel birds in hibernation on its tarmacs, the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) in Shamshabad on Monday witnessed them flap their wings and fly.

TruJet’s 2T 623 was the first flight to take off from RGIA at 8.06 am with 12 passengers on board to Vidyanagar in Karnataka, while AirAsia India I5 1576 was the first flight to land at RGIA at 8.20 am from Bengaluru with 106 passengers. Airport officials said air operations resumed following instructions from the Ministry of Civil Aviation. During the entire day, the RGIA handled an approximate passenger load of around 3,000, including arrivals and departures.

As per schedule, the airport handled 20 departures and 19 arrivals on the first day with the destinations being Delhi, Bengaluru, Belgaum and Vidyanagar in Karnataka, Jaipur in Rajasthan, Raipur in Chhattisgarh, Mumbai, Pune and Kolhapur in Maharashtra, Jharsuguda in Odisha, Cochin in Kerala, Ahmedabad and Surat in Gujarat, Ranchi in Jharkhand, Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh and Chennai in Tamil Nadu.

The flights connecting to these destinations were – TruJet, AirAsia India, IndiGo, Alliance Air, SpiceJet, Vistara and Air India. Airport officials said all departing and arriving passengers were screened with thermal scanners at both the arrivals and departures counters as per safety procedures with adequate physical distancing enforced for everyone.

GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited (GHIAL), which is operating RGIA, has taken a slew of measures with focus on a contact-less boarding experience for passengers. A series of safety measures implemented at the airport include availability of automatic hand sanitiser dispensers at various places, staggered seating arrangements, allocation of entry gates and check-in islands for departure passengers to encourage compliance of social distancing norms and to minimise human contact at the airport.

Last minute instructions from the Union Civil Aviation Ministry, asking airlines to reduce the number of flights that they could operate on a single day led to around 50 flights being cancelled at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) here on Monday.

Sources said these services were cancelled due to the last-minute instructions from the Civil Aviation Ministry, cutting down the number of operations that the Ministry itself had permitted a few days ago.

Soon after receiving instructions, the airlines revised their schedules to operate only curtailed services resulting in the cancellation of other services. This led to confusion and disappointment among passengers who had already made travel arrangements to reach different destinations from the city, and forced many to reschedule their travel plans. Most airlines sent messages to passengers explaining the cancellation of services due to instructions from the Central government.

A few passengers complained that they did not receive any prior information.

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