Hyderabad : Since the COVID-19 lockdown announced on March 24, over 850 foreign nationals have been airlifted to their respective home countries from the Hyderabad airport, officials said. These include foreign nationals from countries such as the United States of America (USA), United Kingdom (UK), United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Germany.
According to data, the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport has handled 11 flights exclusively for evacuation of these foreign nationals. Out of these, the most number of foreign nationals who were evacuated were from the US, with 633 foreign citizens being repatriated. While 135 foreign citizens from the UK were evacuated, 72 people from UAE and 38 German nationals, have also been evacuated via the Hyderabad airport. With this, a total of 878 foreign citizens being airlifted from Hyderabad.
|#||Date||Airport||Flight No.||National||Destination/Onward journey||No. of Pax|
|1||31st March 2020||RGIA||AI 3005||German||Mumbai – Frankfurt||38|
|2||7th April 2020||RGIA||AI 1618||US||Mumbai – US||99|
|3||10th April 2020||RGIA||AI 1616||US||Mumbai – US||70|
|4||10th April 2020||RGIA||AI 1618||US||Mumbai – US||98|
|5||12th April 2020||RGIA||AI 1616||US||Mumbai – US||82|
|6||12th April 2020||RGIA||AI 1618||US||Mumbai – US||83|
|7||17th April 2020||RGIA||BA9117||UK||Ahmedabad – Bahrain||135|
|8||22nd April 2020||RGIA||AI 1840||US||Delhi – US||100|
|9||22nd April 2020||RGIA||G9-426||UAE||Sharjah||72|
|10||30th April 2020||RGIA||AI 1616||US||Mumbai – US||101|
|Total No. of Pax airlifted||878|
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had announced a complete ban on international and domestic commercial passenger flights on March 26. This ban, was later extended till May 4, in view of the nation-wide lockdown being extended, due to the spike in the number of coronavirus cases in the country.
Special arrangements in airport amid COVID-19 lockdown
Special screening and safety measures are put in place at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport. As part of Covid 19 precautionary steps, thermal screening, mandatory social distancing enforced through special queuing arrangements is being done at all passenger processing points.
‘GHIAL has made changes to the queuing arrangements at the kerb side (city side), check-in halls, security check areas and boarding gates, with social distancing markers/reminders. Passengers would be advised to wear masks and maintain social distancing at all times in all areas of the airport. Noticeable signs have been placed at various stand points and staggered seating arrangement with different markers have been positioned on alternate chairs to maintain gap’ said an official.
Airport officials- a team of 100 employee- have also undertaken deep sanitization and fumigation of the entire airport building, which spreads out across 7 levels and around an area of 1,27,000 sq metres.