Wednesday, September 02, 2020

Kolkata: Passenger rush as flight embargo ends; 200 fail to board on first day

Kolkata: More than a plane-load of passengers missed their flights on Tuesday as Kolkata airport struggled to cope with the sudden rush of passengers as the flight count shot up by 50% on a day a two-month embargo on flights from six tier-I cities was lifted.
Lengthy queues at the entry point with wait time to enter the terminal extending up to an hour led to nearly 200 no-shows. The spike in passengers also threw up major challenges in crowd control and enforcement of social distancing measures at the airport terminal.

"There were plenty of no-shows in each flight as passengers reported beyond the minimum time for reporting. Most passengers complained they had been stuck outside the airport's entrance for nearly an hour. If various agencies including CISF that does the checks at the entrance fail to find a solution, it will lead to more chaos in future," warned an airline official.

The airport operator has exactly 24 hours to get its act together and ensure better coordination between various agencies so that when the passenger count again shoots up on Thursday, the mess is avoided. While 60 flights were operating till Monday, the flight count shot up to 90 on Tuesday as flights from six banned cities were allowed to operated thrice a week from Tuesday.

Harried and hassled, fuming passengers vented their anger on social media platforms. They posted photographs of large queues outside the airport entrance and negligible maintenance of social distancing protocols at the airport almost throughout the day.
02/09/20 Tamaghna Banerjee & Mayukh Sengupta/Times of India

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