Sunday, September 13, 2020

Lowest operational day flight departure at airport in 15 years

Kolkata: The city airport recorded the lowest flight departure on an operational day in 15 years when only three flights took off on Saturday. Air India operated the three flights but all other airlines had pulled out the day before citing lack of viability. No flights had been scheduled on Saturday due to a pre-announced lockdown that was lifted only on Thursday evening.
The Air India flights to Hyderabad and Bengaluru were operated by Airbus A320neo, a narrow bodied aircraft. The third one to Leelabari in Assam was a smaller turbo-prop ATR aircraft. In all, 344 persons departed Kolkata during the day and 191 arrived, aggregating just 535 flyers who used the airport on Saturday. Usually, the number of outbound and inbound passengers on Saturdays is around 23,000.
“This is the possibly the first time in recent memory that we have experienced such low departures when there is no emergency. Back in 2006, the airport had to be shut down following a strike call by employees when they were voicing against privatisation. But on a day all operations were smooth at the airport and the airport was fully functional, such low departures have never been witnessed,” said an airport official.
In fact, the kind of swing the airport is witnessing in terms of flight movement over the past four days is unprecedented. On Thursday, 104 flights departed from Kolkata airport, carrying over 27,000 passengers.
13/09/20 Tamaghna Banerjee/Times of India
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