Tribune News Service
Mohali, May 25
Two months after the lockdown in view of Covid was enforced, the Chandigarh international airport became operational again with various flights arriving from and departing to the metro cities of Mumbai, Bengaluru and Delhi today.
A total of 505 passengers arrived on seven flights while 279 passengers boarded the return flights. Air India’s Dharamsala flight was cancelled due to operational reasons. The passengers who arrived today belonged to Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. They were screened for Covid by health teams, led by Civil Surgeon Manjit Singh.
A Chandigarh International Airport Limited (CHIAL) spokesman said three flights of IndiGo arrived from Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru while a flight each of Air Asia and Vistara arrived from Bengaluru and Delhi, respectively. Two flights of Air India from Delhi also landed here today. Mukesh Kumar of Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh, who arrived along with his wife and son, said the Covid situation was very bad in Mumbai. He works in a private company there while his wife is doing her PhD. He said till yesterday evening, it was not clear whether the flights would run or not. He added that later, they received a message that they had to reach the Mumbai airport in the morning.
Deepak Kapoor, an actor and a resident of Bathinda, said they had been at their apartment for the past two months and wished to return to their parents, even if they had to be home-quarantined. He said they had been advised to remain in home quarantine for 14 days after reaching Punjab. He said they were screened thrice before boarding the flight.
Another passenger Priya, also a resident of Bathinda, said the airline employees were wearing masks and gloves. She said though social distancing was maintained by keeping a seat in a row of three seats vacant, in some rows three passengers were seated. They belonged to one family and had requested the airline staff to let them sit together.
She said after arriving at the Chandigarh airport, they had to undergo screening for Covid again.
Ajay Bhardwaj, CEO, CHIAL, said the number of passengers arriving from the metro cities was large as the people from the region were struck there due to the lockdown.
(The report has been updated to correct the figure for passengers).
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