Airlines carried more than 39,000 passengers on 532 flights on Monday as domestic air travel was resumed after two months. But on the other side, a large number of passengers were left stranded as airlines were forced to cancel half the flights they planned just hours before take-off due to poor co-ordination between the Centre and the States.
Airlines were told to curtail their operations late on Sunday after Maharashtra, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu, with some of the busiest airports in the country — Mumbai, Hyderabad and Chennai — restricted the number of flights that could be operated.
Others states such as West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh postponed the re-opening of their airports until May 28 and May 26, respectively.
“From no domestic passenger flights yesterday to 532 flights & 39,231 passengers today, action has returned to Indian skies. With Andhra Pradesh set to resume operations from tomorrow & West Bengal from 28 May, these numbers are all set to increase further,” Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri tweeted on Monday.
In these precautionary times, passengers are reluctant to board the airplanes as 25-50% of the seats of all the flights were left empty. This has surprised the Airlines authority as they thought that there were a lot citizens who were eager to return home.
The travellers’ misery was compounded as airlines issued credit shells instead of refunding money for the flights cancelled.
“I just received a message of cancellation of my flight which is from Mumbai to Dehradun (25-May-2020). Please process my full refund and don’t offer credit shell to me,” tweeted Rajdeep Singh Negi to a private airline.