Visakhapatnam/Vijayawada, May 26 (IANS) Domestic flights resumed from Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada airports in Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday, a day after Indian skies opened up for domestic passenger services after a gap of two months due to coronavirus-induced lockdown.
IndiGo flight from Bengaluru was the first to land at Visakhapatnam Airport at 6.55 a.m. with 146 passengers.
As per the guidelines issued by the Andhra Pradesh government, passengers who arrived by this flight were taken to the quarantine centre for collecting swab samples from where they will be sent to home quarantine for 14 days. Officials say if the swab comes positive they will be put in Covid care centre or continue in home quarantine or sent to hospital for treatment as the case may be.
The flight departed for Bengaluru at 7.35 a.m.
The airport reopened for domestic operations with new arrangements in view of the Covid-19 situation. These include contactless operations, thermal scanning of passengers, social distancing and sanitisation of luggage.
Besides two flights from and to Bengaluru, Visakhapatnam Airport will also handle flights from and to Delhi and Hyderabad.
The airport authorities have requested passengers to reach the airport at least two-and-half hours prior to the scheduled departures.
Passengers leaving for Bengaluru said they had to do web check-in. They were also asked to fill a self declaration form, giving details of their health status.
The passengers were given gloves and hand sanitizers and were asked to maintain social distancing. A woman passenger said she had booked the flight for Monday but it was cancelled. “I booked the ticket for Tuesday and last night I received the message that this flight too was cancelled but was later informed that the flight will depart as scheduled,” she said.
SpiceJet flight from Bengaluru was the first to land at Vijayawada airport at 6.55 a.m. with 79 passengers. “This was the domestic flight to land at the airport post lockdown,” Airport director G. Madhusudhana Rao said.
The flight later departed to Bengaluru with 68 passengers.
The second flight to land in Vijayawada was also from Bengaluru. IndiGo flight arrived at 8.20 a.m. with 48 passengers. “Disinfectation carried out in between flight to flight gaps. The flight departed back to Bengaluru with 50 passengers,” said Rao.
Vijayawada Airport officials said they have four confirmed arrivals and departures to Bengaluru, Chennai and Delhi by SpiceJet, IndiGo and Air India with nearly 600 in and outbound passengers.
The flights from Andhra Pradesh could not resume on Monday due to the delay in issuing the guidelines for domestic flight services.
As per the guidelines issued by the Infrastructure and Investment (Airports) department, domestic passengers need to enrol in the spandana website and obtain clearance before buying tickets.
On arrival, the passengers shall be screened for symptoms. If symptomatic, they will go to institutional quarantine where they shall be tested on arrival and after 7 days again if found negative, will be released to home quarantine for another 7 days.
For asymptomatic passengers, there are two broad categories. Persons coming from high incidence areas — Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh will be put in institutional quarantine where they shall be tested on admission and after 7 days again tested and if found negative will be released to home quarantine for 7 days
People coming from low incident areas will be sent to home quarantine for 14 days after taking swabs. If the swab comes positive they will be put in Covid care centre or continued in home quarantine or sent to hospital for treatment as the case may be.