The Airports Authority of India (AAI) today announced that Kolkata airport has managed a whopping 3662 flights during current times of curtailed domestic travel while the passenger footfall at the airport in July, was near three lakhs.
The Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International (NSCBI) airport in Kolkata though is maintaining lockdown protocols, as suggested by the West Bengal government, and keeping the airport close to passenger flight operations on days of the pandemic-related- lockdown, has managed to handle 3662 flights in the last month.
An airport official said the Covid lockdown had dealt a severe blow to passenger footfall. The number of flights in the initial days of the lockdown in April was 343. In May, this increased to 744 and by June it stood at 4677.
The NSCBI airport resumed flight operations from the end of May once the ministry of civil aviation gave a nod for resumption of domestic passenger flights.
In the following month of June, the airport clocked the highest number of flight operations. It was further learnt that the passenger footfall increased steadily if not exponentially. The airport handled a total of 662 passengers in April which went up to 15591 in May. In June, it clocked a passenger footfall of 380415 and 261595 in July.
The AAI claimed that this is a testament to the fact that more and more people trust air travel when it comes to safety and security. The Kolkata airport however remains closed to passenger flights from six cities –Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Nagpur and Ahmedabad.
The initiative was taken after the West Bengal government appealed to the MoCA that these six cities are Covid hotspots and to curb further transmission of Covid in the state, the suspension of flights from these cities is much necessary.
The restriction is to be in place till 31 August. Additionally, all passengers are undergoing Covid protocols at the airport which recently received international flights carrying several passengers from the Middle East.
On 18 August it received 173 passengers who flew in from Kuwait while yesterday 129 passengers flew in from Dubai. An airport official said food and water were provided to the passengers while terminal building was sanitised before and after flight operations.