513 domestic flights carrying 39,969 passengers flew in India on Friday: Hardeep Puri

A total of 513 domestic flights carrying 39,969 passengers were operated in India on Friday, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Saturday. Domestic services resumed in India after a gap of two months due to the coronavirus lockdown. Indian carriers have operated a total of 1,827 flights till Thursday — 428 on Monday, 445 on Tuesday, 460 on Wednesday and 494 on Thursday.

Puri said on Twitter on Saturday: “Day 5. 29th May till 2359 hrs. Departures 513. 39,969 passengers handled. Arrivals 512. 39,972 passengers handled.” A departure is counted as a flight during the day.

During the pre-lockdown period, Indian airports handled around 3,000 daily domestic flights, aviation industry sources said.

In February, when the lockdown was not imposed, around 4.12 lakh passengers travelled daily through domestic flights in India, according to Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) data. Airports in West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana and Tamil Nadu have been allowed to handle a restricted number of daily flights as these states do not want a huge influx of flyers amid the rising number of COVID-19 cases.

While domestic services resumed in Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday, they restarted in West Bengal on Thursday. Though domestic flight operations across the country began on May 25, they could not be restarted in Kolkata and Bagdogra as the West Bengal machinery was involved in relief and restoration work after cyclone Amphan’s devastation.

A total of 16 asymptomatic passengers on seven different flights, including 13 who travelled by IndiGo, have tested positive for COVID-19 since the resumption of domestic air services.

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