Indore airport marks a dip in the number of flyers reaching the city from Maharashtra in view of the mandatory COVID RT-RCR test on arrival, devised especially for them by the state. The administration announced this new travel protocol on the night of March 15 to eliminate the possibility of any infection rise due to increased travel from India's worst-hit state - Maharashtra.
While airport authorities made arrangements for self-paid coronavirus tests on March 16, a sharp 12% ridership decline was noted here by March 18. As per reports, seat occupancy has also fallen by 12%-15% in response to the compulsory COVID test.
New travel protocols in Indore discourage Maharashtra flyers
A total of 7 flights are commissioned to Indore from Maharashtra including 5 from Mumbai, 1 from Nagpur and another one from Shirdi. However, in the last 3 days, the passenger count has staggered in view of the new travel protocols imposed here. All passengers, arriving from these 7 flights without a negative Covid test have to now go through a mandatory RT-PCR test on the premises of Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport now. The cost of this test is borne by the passengers themselves, read reports.
Speaking in terms of number, about 435 passengers came to Indore from Maharashtra on March 16, when the protocol was first enforced. On March 17, this count plunged to a low 388 flyers followed by a lower 383 passenger count on March 18, Thursday. The official records also stated that the number of flights operated on the first two days was lower than those on Thursday.
While 5 services were commissioned to Indore from Maharashtra on Tuesday and Wednesday, all 7 flights arrived on Thursday, highlighting the significant fall in the ridership. An official associate with an airline also pointed out that passenger load would have dipped further had it not been for the sampling facility at Indore Airport as people without a negative COVID report would not be permitted to even board the flights.