No parking space for aircraft; airport loads fall to lowest level as coronavirus causes demand slump

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Updated: Mar 23, 2020 1:04 PM

As airlines ground flights in the wake of coronavirus, carriers are running out of parking space. Airlines have been minimising operations as demand has slumped due to the spread of coronavirus.

aviation, aviation sectorIndia’s largest domestic carrier IndiGo has said that it would reduce operations of its scheduled flights by 40% for Sunday.

As airlines ground flights in the wake of coronavirus, carriers are running out of parking space. At national capital Delhi’s IGI Airport, several operators have been parking at Runway 27 of the aerodrome as enough parking bays aren’t available, The Indian Express reported. Airlines have been minimising operations as demand has slumped due to the spread of coronavirus. India’s largest domestic carrier IndiGo has said that it would reduce operations of its scheduled flights by 40% for Sunday. IndiGo runs around 1,400 flights daily on domestic sectors. On the other hand, GoAir is cancelling almost all of its 330 flights on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the passenger loads have also taken a hit with over 1,000 flights getting cancelled throughout the country on Sunday. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked for a Janta Curfew on Sunday, there was a weak demand at airport loads which fell to their worst low in the past several years. At Delhi airport alone, 255 departures were cancelled, according to data from flight-tracking portal Flightradar24, the newspaper reported. In Mumbai, 233 departures, or 53% of the scheduled flights, were cancelled on Sunday.

As coronavirus cases have jumped in the country, international air passenger load at Delhi airport has fallen by 50% in the last 20 days. The same for the domestic sector was down by  15%. Delhi airport handles around 61 lakh passengers every month, including domestic and international.

As India imposed a ban on international flights from 23 March, international arrivals spiked on Sunday, sources said, The Indian Express reported. “Before the week long ban on international flights, there is a surge in numbers of passengers. While things are smooth at other airports, in Delhi the situation is crowded but orderly. We have increased facilities & number of doctors for mandatory secondary screening,” Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State for Civil Aviation, said in a series of tweets.

Meanwhile, the cases of coronavirus in India have climbed to over 400 with at least eight deaths so far. The coronavirus outbreak poses a serious threat to the economy as several sectors stare at massive loss in revenues due to demand slump.

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