Rising COVID-19 cases lead to dip in traffic at Chennai airport

Officials of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) said for the last few days, the number of passengers was only around 16,000, as against 18,000-20,000 earlier.

With the rapid increase in the number of COVID-19 cases across the country, the number of travellers to the airport has dipped in the last few days.

Officials of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) said for the last few days, the number of passengers was only around 16,000, as against 18,000-20,000 earlier. The number of aircraft movements had also come down over the last few days.

“Up until last week, we had nearly 250 flights a day, both arrivals and departures. Slowly, it came down to 230 this week and, for the last two days, it has been 210 and 218 respectively. Though this is a gradual dip, the night curfew and the Sunday lockdown are likely to have an impact. People will get more cautious and travel only if they compulsorily have to,” an official said.

In the past, on Sundays, when there was a full lockdown, some passengers found it a challenge to commute to the airport.

At present, people coming to the airport will have to register online through the State government’s portal for e-passes. Those who come without registering can get an e-pass at the counters in the arrival hall of the airport. But sources said e-passes were not being checked.

Before the lockdown was implemented, Chennai airport used to have nearly 400-500 flights and saw about 30,000 passengers every day, the officials said.

Only for the last few months, the air traffic started growing steadily and touched about 20,000 passengers a day.

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