COVID lockdown : 126 flights cancelled due to poor patronage

Chennai : A total of 126 domestic flights, both to and from Chennai Airport, were cancelled due to poor patronage in view of the lockdown to prevent the spread of the second wave of COVID pandemic.

Airport sources said the airport terminals wore a deserted look as there are only a very few passengers. Though a number of flights have been cancelled during the last few days due to lack of passengers, it touched a new high on Tuesday as only 78 domestic flights were operated with a total of 3,700 passengers.

This included 38 departures with 2,400 passengers and 40 arrivals with 1,300 passengers, the sources said.

Airport officials said though domestic flight services, which were suspended in March last year due to the first corona pandemic and lockdown, resumed in May last year, this was for the first time today the airport saw a very less passenger patronage. Of the 126 flights cancelled, 64 were incoming flights and 62 were outgoing flights.

At the Anna international airport, only eight international flights–two under Vande Bharat mission and six special flights, arrived. Of this, the Air India flight from Chicago in US to Chennai via Delhi, had only eight passengers.

Airport officials attribute this poor passenger patronage to the lockdown restrictions and the people strictly following it and deferred their air travel.

However, once the virus spread is brought under control and the lockdown relaxations are announced, the airport will be back to its usual business, with increase in flight operations and passenger patronage.

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