Domestic air traffic sees 50% drop ahead of shutdown

Hyderabad: On a day when the civil aviation ministry announced closing down of all domestic commercial services, beginning midnight of March 24, air traffic to and from Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA), saw a dip of over 50%.
While some airline operators such as GoAir suspended all its operations for the day, other carriers too reported a significant percentage of cancellations, across networks.
Till late Monday evening, Hyderabad saw more than 120 cancellations in domestic arrivals and departures each (as per the airport’s official website). On an average, RGIA records 480 arrivals and departures. The international traffic is pegged at 70 – 35 arrivals and 35 departures.
The lockdown order led to chaos with many passengers making last minute bookings or seeking refunds. “My uncle and aunt are in Rajahmundry and were expected to fly to Hyderabad, later in the week. When they heard about services being suspended, they decided to book tickets for Tuesday. They were shocked to find that the cost of two tickets was over Rs 40,000,” said Avinash Kumar. “Even during peak season, the fares do not cross Rs 5,000 per ticket,” he added.
Requests for refunds flooded social media handles of airlines. “@goairlinesindia Please contact me ASAP for the flight cancelled from your end on 24th March, PNR H62UTC, from Kolkata to Hyderabad. No one is picking up your customer care Number. Please give me a full refund,” tweeted Avipsha Sengupta.
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