Delhi Airport’s fight against Covid-19! Here is how India’s busiest airport is striving for normalcy

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New Delhi | December 2, 2020 10:00 AM

Citing that festivals of Navratri, Diwali, and Chhath Puja have given the much-needed boost, the Delhi Airport authority is expecting to return to pre-lockdown volumes soon.

Delhi Airport, Delhi Airport flight status, Delhi Airport name, Delhi Airport news, IGI Airport, IGI Airport news,Meanwhile, based on the flyers' choice, Mumbai, Patna, Srinagar, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad have emerged as the top five domestic destinations respectively. (Reuters image)

Delhi Airport (DEL) is limping back to normalcy braving the prevalent Coronavirus pandemic as the Indira Gandhi International Airport handled around 42 per cent of the pre-Covid domestic traffic passenger traffic in the month of October. The Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) has said that a footfall of around 1.9 million (19 lakh) domestic passengers was witnessed in October. The Delhi Airport also achieved the 1 million (10 lakh) international passengers-mark in October since May 25.

Citing that festivals of Navratri, Diwali, and Chhath Puja have given the much-needed boost, the Delhi Airport authority is expecting to return to pre-lockdown volumes soon. Meanwhile, based on the flyers’ choice, Mumbai, Patna, Srinagar, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad have emerged as the top five domestic destinations respectively.

In the international segment, Delhi Airport, which is India’s busiest airport, handled more than 66 per cent of the combined traffic of three metro airports in October, while in the domestic segment, it handled more than 48 per cent of the combined traffic of three metro airports, DIAL said in a statement. DIAL CEO Videh Kumar Jaipuriar said that “With the recent announcement by the government to permit up to 70 per cent of domestic slots in the coming days, we are hopeful of achieving the pre-COVID levels soon.”

The Delhi airport handled 69 domestic destinations in October as compared to 67 destinations in pre-COVID times, DIAL said. Besides, it connected with 66 international destinations through ‘Vande Bharat Mission’ flights. As of October, Delhi airport is connected with 26 destinations in Asia, 14 in the Middle East, 11 in Europe, eight in North America, including the US, four in Africa, and three in Australia, it said, adding that it also registered a significant number of inbound international travellers from Dubai, Changi, Bangkok, Heathrow and Kathmandu during the festive season.

Minister of State for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri stated that passenger traffic would reach pre-COVID levels by January 2021, the release said. Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola last week claimed that around 65 per cent of the domestic traffic is back to pre-pandemic levels, and with the reopening of more and more business and trade activities, the domestic traffic may return to normal level in the next 2 to 3 months. According to DGCA data, released on November 19, domestic traffic declined 57 per cent year-on-year in October amid the pandemic, despite a 33 per cent increase sequentially over September, as per a PTI report.

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