KOLKATA: After a hiatus of more than two months, domestic flight operations to and from Kolkata resumed on Thursday with a total of 22 flights operating on the first day.
On Thursday, eleven flights took off from Kolkata and an equal number arrived in the city, sources at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport said.
"A total of 1,745 passengers arrived and 1,214 passengers flew out of the city today (Thursday)," airport sources said.
The first flight from Kolkata left for Guwahati at 6.05 am with 40 passengers, whereas 122 passengers arrived from New Delhi on Thursday morning, the sources said.
"Welcome Back, Passengers! #KolkataAirport saw the arrival of 122 passengers from @DelhiAirport after two long months, and 40 passengers departed to #Guwahati. Proper checks were followed, and regular sanitization was carried out in terminal which was abuzz with passengers," the Kolkata airport tweeted.
Though domestic flight operations across the country began on May 25, they could not be restarted on the same day in Kolkata as the state machinery was involved in relief and restoration work after Cyclone Amphan whiplashed many areas of the state.
The West Bengal government had recently come up with a set of guidelines for people arriving in the state in domestic flights.
According to the guidelines, those entering the state from Thursday must submit a self-declaration form stating that they have not tested positive for COVID-19 in the past two months, according to an advisory of the Health Department.
The passengers will also need to undergo health screening after they arrive at the airport, the advisory said on Monday.
Asymptomatic passengers will be permitted to leave with the advice that they shall self-monitor their health for 14 days.
In case they develop any symptom, they shall inform the local medical officer or the state call centre, the advisory said.
All symptomatic passengers will be taken to the nearest health facility for testing, it said.
Arrangements for contact-less travel with social-distancing norms have been readied at the city airport to keep passengers safe from COVID-19, a top airport official said on Wednesday.
An "absolute contact-less procedure" with "least possible surface touch" will be provided to passengers from the time of entering the airport till boarding the flight under the new arrangement.
Passengers who returned to the city in the first few flights said they were elated to meet their family members after a gap of two months.
"I had gone to Delhi for an examination. But I couldn't return as the lockdown started. I am thrilled to see my parents after a gap of two months," said a passenger.