Saturday, February 27, 2021

New quarantine rules set to affect Chennai-Mumbai air passenger traffic

Chennai: The new quarantine restrictions for travellers from Maharashtra – which need them to be in isolation for seven days – have begun to impact business and leisure traffic between Mumbai and Chennai, the third busiest route from the city.

TN has said that those arriving from Mumbai will have to be in home quarantine for seven days while Delhi, Karnataka and West Bengal have asked for Covid-19 negative certificate.

An airlines official said that the number of passengers may dip as those travelling for social functions and leisure may not fly to Chennai because of the quarantine rules while a concern about rising number of cases in Maharashtra will make people hesitant to travel to Mumbai.

However, there is no largescale cancellation of tickets yet. Mumbai-Chennai-Mumbai sector is one of the highrevenue earning sectors for airlines. There are around 12 flights to Mumbai daily.

The air fare, which was hovering at more than Rs 4,000 for 30 days advance booking, has started to dip for the coming days because of low demand. The fare has reduced to Rs 3,000 for travel next weekend.

Sriharan Balan, of Madura Travels, said: “The quarantine restrictions for people from Maharashtra will impact leisure travel. Many states have announced that people from Mumbai should bring Covid-19 negative certificates. This will make people postpone travel. Those who want to travel to Mumbai will hesitate. Many people, especially pilgrims, used to fly to Mumbai and travel by road to other cities. Such trips will get hit.”

The Chennai-Mumbai route was among the top routes also because several international travellers used to fly via Mumbai.

This is getting affected because of a needless fear among transit passengers, said Basheer Ahmed of Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI). “Though there is no restriction for transit passengers, many people who fly via Mumbai to foreign countries are asking to shift the ticket to Delhi. Those who are returning to India too have started to prefer Delhi. This has led to a reduction in fare to international destinations from Mumbai due to dip in demand.”

27/02/21 Times of India

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