It seems everything was going alright for air travel as it was gathering pace, until this afternoon a news report has made it go awry again. Reports have emerged that the Maharashtra government is considering putting a temporary ban on flights between Delhi and Mumbai (and vice versa), which if true, will be a massive setback for the recovery of aviation in India.
Delhi Mumbai Flights could be banned
In a newsflash which first was reported on Aaj Tak, the Hindi news channel of the India Today Group, a report has been filed by the channel which states that given the increasing cases of CoVid-19 in Delhi, the Maharashtra Government is considering the closure of air and rail services between Delhi and Mumbai. Things could move fast in this direction. Per the news report, this has the blessings of the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, and the modalities are to be worked out. An order could be issued soon, and the ban could be implemented on Monday, November 23, 2020.
Such a move is not entirely unthinkable. In West Bengal, there have been various variants of a ban on travel from Delhi and Mumbai amongst other cities. Earlier, there was a flat-out ban to bring in people from Delhi/Mumbai and a couple of other cities. Then, this was limited to flying into CCU and other West Bengal airports for just four days in a week. Mumbai Airport is consistently running on limited domestic flights as per a cap that was in place by the government on its operations.
I’ve reached out to various airlines, but they have not heard anything officially yet. A Vistara spokesperson said, “We haven’t received any official communication on this matter yet.”
At last count, 30 flights a day are being operated non-stop between both the cities each day by various airlines. This is already a considerable step down from the earlier 17 flights, either way, each day that IndiGo used to operate on the sector, for instance.
If this move were to come true, it also impacts the international transit passengers, many of whom are funnelling back into India on Air India and other airline’s Delhi arrivals and connecting to Mumbai on domestic connections. There will also be the question on, if only a Delhi Mumbai flights ban is being considered, or also a Mumbai – Delhi direction ban.
There might be an upcoming air travel and rail travel ban imposed on flights incoming from Delhi in Mumbai in the coming days. This is just a developing story right now, and we are trying to confirm more details. Check back here for more details later.
What do you make of the new developments about Delhi Mumbai flights being stopped for the time being? Do you think this is going to really happen? We are keeping an eye on this developing story, so check back later.
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