Mumbai: Domestic commercial flight operations started from Mumbai on Monday morning in a calibrated manner amid the easing of lockdown restrictions, which were imposed on March 25 to contain the spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak.
The authorities at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) said that 45 flights have been scheduled to operate on Monday. However, airport sources said that few more flights are likely to be added to the schedule by late afternoon.
The airport operator, Mumbai International Airport Ltd. (MIAL), in a press statement, issued late Sunday night, said: “As per the recent directive by the Union Civil Aviation Minister and the state government, CSMIA will be resuming operations with 25 movements for departure and 25 arrivals from Monday. The first flight departing out of CSMIA will be to Patna at 6.45 hours and flight arriving from Lucknow will be the first arrival flight at 8.20 hours both operated by IndiGo.”
The low-cost carrier, IndiGo, is scheduled to use its A320 aircraft to operate 19 flights (eight arrivals and 11 departures) from CSMIA on Monday. SpiceJet is expected to operate 10 flights (five departures and five arrivals). The airline will be utilising its Boeing 738 aircraft for these flights.
Air Asia India will use its A320 aircraft to operate two departures and two arrivals. Vistara, a full-service carrier, will operate four flights (two arrivals and two departures) from Mumbai airport today.
The national carrier, Air India, is scheduled to operate four flights using two aircraft – A320 and B787 — for arrival and departure to Kochi and Delhi, respectively.
Air India’s subsidiary, Alliance Air, will use its ATR aircraft to operate two flights (arrival and departure to Diu). While Air India Express will operate two flights with its B738 aircraft.
GoAir, a low-cost carrier, is the only airline that will commence its flight operations from June 1, but opened its online booking facility on Monday.
Of the total 45 flights, 10 flights have been listed to be operated to and from Delhi, four Kochi, Hyderabad, Varanasi, Bengaluru and Patna, two to be operated to and from Calicut, Diu, Lucknow, Nagpur, Chandigarh, Gorakhpur, Allahabad and one flight to Jaipur.
The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued guidelines that all arriving passengers would be screened for their body temperature and stamped on their hands for a mandatory 14-day home quarantine.
However, there was confusion due to last-minute changes in flight schedule as a result of differences between the central and state government. Devendra Nath Tripathi, a passenger, tweeted, “We are at the Mumbai Airport for AI-809 and have no confirmation for the flight. Air India online status shows flight on time… the ground reality is grim… no cabs to return… no water despite boarding pass. Terrible management by #AirIndia”.
Mumbai airport, which used to handle around 950 flights daily, was shut from March 25, except for evacuation and cargo operations, due to the lockdown restrictions.