Sunday, December 12, 2021

No major dip in domestic footfall at Delhi's IGI airport

New Delhi: Domestic air travel was back to almost 90% of pre-Covid 2019 levels at India’s busiest airport — Delhi’s IGIA— when news of the Omicron variant surfaced in the last week of November. So far, while there has been no major dip in the number of domestic flyers to and from here, their steady post-second wave growth has plateaued, Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) CEO Videh Kumar Jaipuriar told TOI.

“Pre-Omicron, international traffic was at 45% of pre-Covid 2019 levels through air bubble flights. This has not dipped so far due to reasons like international travellers fearing fresh travel restrictions globally and hence, preponing their planned journey to or from India. For instance, a number of Indian students studying abroad preponed their trip home this holiday season,” Jaipuriar said.

IGIA — the world’s fifth busiest airport in terms of seat deployment by airlines this month according to UK-based air consultancy firm OAG — has seen a rollercoaster ride during the pandemic. It witnessed about 7 crore passengers in pre-pandemic 2019, with 5 crore being domestic and 2 crore international. Then Covid led to a two-month nation-wide lockdown last year and a continued suspension of international flights since last March.

12/12/21 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

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