Ahead of the lockdown that begins on Thursday, eights flights were cancelled, putting hundreds of passengers to hardship.
According to officials of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) on Wednesday, eight flights — four departures and four arrivals — were cancelled to and from Delhi, Thiruvananthapuram, Hyderabad and Kozhikode.
While the airlines cited operational reasons, some officials said one of the reasons for the cancellations could be poor patronage. “When a flight has very few passengers, airlines cancel it because it may not be profitable for them to operate the flight, and ultimately passengers suffer. This was particularly high last year when the lockdown was in place. Now we are again beginning to see this happen,” an official said. In some cases, flights were getting rescheduled, upsetting passengers’ travel plan. Officials said it could be for the same reason of not having adequate bookings to operate a flight and hence it could get rescheduled.
On Tuesday, for instance, for the flights to Mysuru and Salem, there were less than five passengers.
These days, even to major cities such as Delhi, Bengaluru or Hyderabad, sometimes, the number of passengers travelling is just about 30 to 40, the officials said.
“But interestingly what we have noticed is, to destinations like Patna and Guwahati, there are still a lot of people taking flights,” the official said.
Passengers have taken to social media, tagging airlines, to enquire about refund of fares.