Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Busy week ahead at Vizag, Vijayawada airports, 16 repatriation flights to land

Visakhapatnam: Airport officials in Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada are staring at a tough week ahead as 16 repatriation flights are scheduled to arrive at these two airports in Andhra Pradesh within the next few days. Further, regular domestic flight numbers are also increasing every week. Thus, airport officials and paramedical and health department staff are staying vigilant.

To put things in perspective, before the lockdown, Visakhapatnam used to have 14 international flights from the airport in a week— operated by three airlines. On the other hand, the Vijayawada airport, despite being an international airport, had no international flights running.

Of the 16 repatriation flights set to arrive in Andhra Pradesh, 10 will land at the Visakhapatnam airport while six will land at Vijayawada airport. Eight of these flights will be operated by Air India under the third phase of the Vande Bharat Mission.

The remaining eight flights will be operated by airlines of west Asian countries— Air Arabia, Jazeera Airways and Kuwait Airways. The flights operated by Kuwait’s national carrier are being called ‘amnesty flights ’.

Speaking to TOI, a senior airport official said, “These flights have been strategically selected from countries where there is a large Telugu population. It’s always a tough job to clear passengers on repatriation flights. We have to be very careful with paperwork at the same time sensitive to the people. Further, we have domestic flights as well. However, we are prepared to handle the huge inflow.”
23/06/20 Arpit Basu & Sulogna Mehta/Times of India
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