As air traffic was stopped from March 23 onwards due to the effect of coronavirus lockdown, air traffic in recent studies and showed it is up by 21% when flight resumed operation.
According to the data shared, Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport between May 25 to August 25 when domestic flights were allowed to resume operation saw 37% of total country’s air traffic movement said an airport operator from IGI airport.
The airport operator said DIAL handled at least 21% higher domestic air traffic which was more than it handled pre-covid period.
The air traffic movement was halted from March 25 in the country to handle the spread of Covid-19 and after 2 months the government allowed the flight operations for domestic destinations since May.
While the domestic flights have resumed operations, international destinations are still on hold except for Vande Bharat Mission and select destinations where India shares an air bubble with, but every route in domestic destinations are allowed where passengers can board and follow state-wise covid-19 regulations set up the specific state government.
The IGI airport details also shared that from the first nine-weeks of resuming operations, the airport saw a significant rise in the number of domestic fliers compared to pre-covid traffic. Before covid-19, the airport used to receive 18% of the country’s domestic flights but after resuming operation, the number shot up to 26%. The footfalls to domestic flights were around 893,000 and since flights resumed the number of average footfalls shot up to 999,000.
Explaining about this, the official said that Delhi airport has better domestic connectivity than other airports in the country and hence the number of footfalls has risen. Also, when the airport was open, international travellers flew into Delhi and then continued their further destination which increased the footfalls at IGI.
The official mentioned that due to the increased footfalls and state-wise regulations imposed, they could not begin the flight operations hence they shifted to Delhi’s airport. This resulted in many passengers booking to & fro tickets from Delhi Airport.
Under Vande Bharat Mission, Delhi airport handled around 36% of country’s international passengers and prior to covid-19 the airport handled 27% of international passengers.
“Earlier, an average of 1,300 flight operations were handled by the ATC at Delhi airport in a day. After May 25, when airspace was reopened, traffic had slowed down and the ATC handled only about 20-30% of the daily pre-Covid flights. But that is changing and the aviation sector is slowly regaining its pace and the per day air traffic is back to almost 50-60% (of pre-Covid times),” the official said.
With the increasing traffic, the airport officials have decided to open terminal 2 for handling as at present only terminal 3 was open for tourists.
Starting October 01, Go Air will start operating from Terminal 02 and Indigo will partially shift back the flight to T2. T01 is undergoing expansion works and will remain closed until further notice.