Flights from six cities – Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Chennai and Ahmedabad – will not land in Kolkata for three weeks starting Monday, authorities said on Saturday as the West Bengal government stepped up measures to contain the coronavirus.
The Civil Aviation Ministry agreed to suspend the flights following a request from the West Bengal government. The Bengal government had written to the centre to also stop flights from Indore and Surat. It wanted flights to two other airports in the state Andal and Bagdogra paused as well.
“West Bengal is also witnessing a steep rise in cases. A large number of cases has been reported from people coming in the State from outside with infection. Government of West Bengal has decided to stop or curtail the movement of incoming flights and trains into the State,” the letter read.
India resumed domestic passenger flights from May 25, after a gap of two months following the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown. Scheduled international passenger flights are still suspended in India.
According to the Union Health Ministry, West Bengal has recorded 20,488 coronavirus cases including 717 deaths, with the maximum numbers are from Kolkata, adjoining Howrah and the district of North 24 Parganas.
It is informed that no flights shall operate to Kolkata from Delhi,Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur,Chennai & Ahmedabad from 6th to 19th July 2020 or till further order whichever is earlier. Inconvenience caused is regretted.@AAI_Official @MoCA_GoI @ushapadhee1996 @HardeepSPuri @arvsingh01
— Kolkata Airport (@aaikolairport) July 4, 2020
With more than 94,000 cases of coronavirus, Delhi has the second-highest numbers in the country, next to Maharashtra, where the bulk of 1.92 lakh cases are reported from Mumbai. Tamil Nadu has the third-highest number of cases, a chunk of which are located in state capital Chennai.
Earlier, several states including Karnataka and Tamil Nadu had imposed restrictions on people coming from Maharashtra or other states where the infection rate was high.