NEW DELHI: The Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport on Monday resumed domestic flight services amid confusion, chaos and anger as passengers, crew members and ground staff struggled to adapt to the new normal on Day 1 of operations after a gap of two months.
At least 125 flights landed and 118 departed from Delhi airport on the first day, but 82 planes arriving and departing from Delhi were cancelled. Shafil-ul, 17, and his two friends, who worked at a showroom in a mall on the Delhi-Haryana border, had decided to return to their loved ones back home in West Bengal on Eid. But their joy, however, was shortlived as barely five km away from the Delhi airport, they received a message from the airline informing them that their flight had been cancelled.
Shafil-ul and his two friends were supposed to fly to Kolkata on a 5.30 am flight thus bringing an end to their two-month-long ordeal. The trio had paid Rs 2,000 to an auto driver to ferry them to the airport, while their family members had somehow managed to arrange the money to buy airline tickets for them.
However, with the flight getting cancelled and the expensive auto-rickshaw ride to the airport, the migrant workers said they had no money left to return to their accommodation as they stood outside the departure gate with their heavy backpacks.
“We were working in a company, but after the lockdown, it was very difficult to manage everything of our own and parents were also very worried back in Kolkata,” he said. The disheartened migrant workers said they had no information about the rescheduling of the cancelled flight or if and when will they refunded.
Cab aggregators such as Uber, Ola, Meru cabs and other private taxis were also available in decent numbers at the airport.
“My flight was scheduled for 5.30 am, and I had reached the airport on Sunday night, but during my screening, officials informed us that the flight had been cancelled,” said a passenger, who arrived from Faridabad. Similar stories played out at the airport as many were caught off-guard on knowing that their flights were cancelled.
Early first flight
The first flight took off from Delhi for Pune at 4.45 am under strict regulations recommended by civil aviation authorities.
Safety kit for flyers
Flyers were provided with a kit consisting of face shield, mask and sanitiser. Instructions were given by flight attendants donning PPEs