New Delhi, May 24 (PTI) The airports in Kolkata and Bagdogra in West Bengal and Vizag and Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh will not handle any domestic flights on Monday while the ones at Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad will deal with reduced number of domestic services, senior government officials said on Sunday.
A day before resumption of domestic commercial passenger flights across India, multiple meetings were held at the Civil Aviation Ministry among various stakeholders as states expressed their reluctance to deal with so many incoming flyers amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Therefore, it was decided on Sunday evening that Kolkata and Bagdogra will each handle just 20 flights per day from Thursday, the officials said, adding that these two airports in West Bengal will not handle any flights between Monday and Wednesday.
'It has been a long day of hard negotiations with various state govts to recommence civil aviation operations in the country,' said Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Twitter on Sunday night.
'Except Andhra Pradesh which will start on 26/5 & West Bengal on 28/5, domestic flights will recommence across the country from tomorrow (Monday),' he added.
The Hyderabad airport will deal with only 30 domestic flights per day from Monday, the government officials said, adding that 50 per cent of these will be departures and remaining would be arrivals.
There will be no domestic services at the Vijaywada and the Vizag airports on Monday, and they will be handling only 20 per cent of the pre-lockdown flights from Tuesday onwards, the officials said.
'As per request of the state govt, operations in Andhra Pradesh will recommence on a limited scale from 26 May,' Puri said.
'For Tamil Nadu there will be max 25 arrivals in Chennai but there's no limit on the number of departures. For other airports in Tamil Nadu flights will operate as in other parts of the country,' he added.
Indian airlines, who had opened their bookings on domestic services 2-3 days ago, will have to cancel a significant number of flights to these cities where the central government curtailed operations on Sunday.
The Mumbai airport, India's second busiest airpo rt, will handle only 50 flights per day from Monday, said officials, adding that all other airports in Maharashtra will deal with just one-third of the pre-lockdown domestic air traffic.
The Mumbai airport's operator MIAL on Sunday said it will 'resume 25 commercial passenger flight movements on departure and 25 on arrival'. Indian skies will open up for domestic passenger flights from Monday after a gap of two months. It was announced last Thursday that one-third of the pre-lockdown domestic flights will operate from Monday.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had on Saturday said she will urge the Centre to postpone the resumption of domestic flight services at the Kolkata and the Bagdogra airports by a few days.
Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said on Twitter on Sunday that it is 'extremely ill-advised' to reopen airports in red zones.
International commercial passenger flight services remain suspended in India.
'Starting tomorrow, there will be limited flights from Mumbai & as per approved one-third schedule from other airports in the state. Limited operations to West Bengal will commence on 28th May 2020,' Puri said on Twitter on Sunday night. PTI DSP KJ KJ