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Mumbai airport resumes domestic flight operations

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-05-25 17:28
An airport staff member pushes trollies at the entrance of Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, after the government allowed domestic flight services to resume, during an extended nationwide lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Mumbai, India, May 25, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

MUMBAI - Mumbai airport commenced domestic flight operations on Monday after two-months of nationwide lockdown.

The first flight departed from Mumbai airport to the northeastern city of Patna at 6:45 am local time on Monday morning while the first arrival flight to Mumbai took off from the northern city of Lucknow at 8:20 am local time, airport officials said.

Mumbai, which surpassed the grim milestone of 30,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 late Sunday, is the political capital of Maharashtra state.

On Sunday afternoon, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had sought more time to open up air travel while the state home minister termed the federal government's move to reopen airports in red zone as "extremely ill-advised."

However, late Sunday, the state government allowed for landing and departure of 25 flights each on a daily basis with stringent guidelines for passengers.

Mumbai airport, the second busiest airport after Delhi in the country, handled around 700 landings and departures flights daily before the COVID-19 outbreak.

While aviation is a federal subject, the support in terms of public transport to ferry passengers from and to their last-mile destination lies with the state.

As per the official update on Monday afternoon, India has 77,103 active cases of COVID-19 with 4,021 deaths reported so far.

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