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Delhi’s IGI airport recovers 48% of domestic flight operations

The airport has recovered operations on 83% of the total domestic routes it operates flights to, said Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL), that runs the airport

Since flight operations resumed in the country on May 25, after two months of complete lockdown, the Delhi airport has recovered 48% of its domestic flight operations during the pre-Covid times. The airport has recovered operations on 83% of the total domestic routes it operates flights to, said Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL), that runs the airport.

After the two-month ban on flight operations was lifted, domestic flights were allowed on all sectors while international flights are operating only to select destinations within the air bubble arrangement under Vande Bharat Mission.

The airport operator said that until last month, the airport had commenced operations on 83.33% of its domestic routes. “Till February, IGIA operated flights to 71 domestic sectors across country. As on September 23, flights to 60 of these routes have already been commenced,” it said.

The airport operator said that 11 routes that are yet to resume flights are Agra, Shimla, Jodhpur, Shirdi, Bhatinda, Gwalior, Khajuraho, Nanded, Durgapur, Adampur and Dimapur.

An official from the Delhi Air Traffic Control, who wished not to be named, said on an average, Delhi airport operated a total of 1,350 flights a day before the lockdown. Out of these, approximately 900 were domestic flights, the officer said.

“At present, because international flights are yet to resume in a full-fledged manner, the total air traffic movement is of 700 on an average, per day. Out of these, approximately 450 -500 are domestic flights,” the officer said.

The total air traffic movement also includes chartered flights, Air Force flight operations, air ambulances and cargo flights.

An official from an airline, who requested anonymity, said the air traffic is low because people are still restricting their travel to only emergency situations. “These 11 sectors do not witness heavy air connectivity even during the normal times and hence, mostly because passenger demand is low on these sectors, there has been no flight,” the official said.

The traffic is, however, expected to grow in the coming days. Since the lockdown was lifted, only Terminal 3 was made operational as the number of flights was low. October 1 onwards, DIAL also made Terminal 2 operational, shifting all operations of GoAir and some of IndiGo there, from T3. Terminal 1, that is undergoing expansion, however, will continue to remain closed.

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