The Delhi airport handled over 300 evacuation flights for approximately 30,000 passengers and around 1,000 cargo flights during the 40 days of lockdown from March 25 to May 4, its operator DIAL said on Wednesday.
Following the announcement of lockdown to stop the spread of the COVID-19, all commercial flight operations came to a halt at the Delhi Airport on March 25, 2020. However, during the lockdown, Delhi Airport was not shut even for a day, the Delhi Airport International Limited (DIAL) said in a statement.
It remained functional 24×7 and till May 4, 2020 it handled around 1,000 cargo (scheduled and nonscheduled) and over 310 evacuation (arrival and departure) flight movements – both domestic and international, the DIAL said.
These flights were operated by 44 countries including the US, Britain, Germany, Japan, Norway, Poland, Russia, France, Afghanistan, Bangladesh etc to repatriate their stranded citizens from India, following permission from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
Most number of evacuation flights were operated by Afghanistan which took back 3,900 citizens, followed by Japan, which carried its 3,300 citizens back. The Netherlands operated flights to carry back approximately 3,000 citizens.
Apart from these, about 2,555 passengers flew to San Francisco, over 2,500 to London, 1,700 to Indonesia and over 1,000 to Frankfurt.