Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Day 2: Airline operations smoother, but AI faces ire

New Delhi/Mumbai: Operations at India's airports were smoother on the second day after the chaos that marked the resumption of domestic flights on Monday. The number of flights increased, more people flew and additional destinations opened up. Airlines got better at managing travellers, although there were complaints about state-run carrier Air India. Flights were cancelled on Tuesday as well, leaving travellers stranded.
Carriers operated 325 departures and carried more than 41,500 passengers until 5 pm on Tuesday, the aviation ministry said. Domestic airlines operated 438 flights and carried 30,000 passengers until midnight on Monday, the first day of flight operations after two months, the government said. A senior airline executive said faster turnarounds facilitated the progressive addition in capacity on day two.
While departures at Delhi airport rose to 137 from 112 on Monday, Mumbai maintained its cap of 25 departures per day, said spokespersons at India’s two busiest airports. Vistara added eight flights to its 20 departures on Monday and IndiGoNSE 2.50 % also added an unspecified number.
IndiGo and other carriers also deployed more staff to take care of passengers. Many had arrived at airports Monday without checking in online, mandatory under revised rules, or having downloaded the Aarogya Setu app or updated their information on it. Some airlines are insisting that passengers should have the contact-tracing app on their phones although the government has said it isn’t mandatory and a selfdeclaration will also suffice. “IndiGo, which deploys 670 people at Mumbai airport on normal days, deployed 20% of that on Monday and kept the rest on standby. Today, the airline increased it by 20 odd people,” said Charnel D’Souza, head of airports, western region, IndiGo. Airports in Andhra Pradesh saw operation resume on Tuesday. West Bengal is expected to allow the resumption of flights on Thursday.
27/05/20 Economic Times
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