TN flyers on tenterhooks about holiday plans amid global Covid surge
TIRUCHY: Just as things were finally beginning to look bright for the aviation sector and travel agents had begun to recover the losses they’d incurred during the thick of the pandemic, recent news about COVID-19 cases rising in China and airports across the country increasing vigil have caused flyers to reconsider their holiday bookings ahead of New Year’s Day and Pongal.
“This being the holiday season, we’ve had many bookings to Malaysia, Singapore and Middle East Countries to spend their New Year and Pongal holidays. But the latest developments have gotten people concerned about their safety and we have been getting so many calls from them on most days,” said G Kalidasan, a travel agent in Tiruchy.
Tour operators are now flooded with calls requesting cancellation and some passengers have also postponed their holiday trips. “Many passengers from central Tamil Nadu usually go to Singapore, Malaysia,Thailand and Dubai. We got so many bookings to these countries during Pongal holidays.
Some of those passengers are now calling us to cancel those trips or postpone it to the summer holidays. We’ve got cancel requests from at least 20 per cent of our bookings for the Pongal holidays,” said K Karthikeyan, a tour operator. The recent developments have got tour operators worried, and some of them have now postponed the announcement of their summer holiday packages.
“At present, there is mandatory RT-PCR checking for passengers coming from China, Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Thailand. We have no direct flights to any of these countries from Tiruchy. But, Thailand is a popular destination for many people and they go from Tiruchy via Singapore. However, the majority of those passengers to Thailand have cancelled their bookings. We are expecting further cancellations in the coming days. Considering the situation, we are unlikely to announce our summer tour packages in January as we fear that the government is likely to come up with more regulations for international passengers,” said Kumar T, a travel agent.