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58,000 passengers travelled by air on Monday: Puri

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Union civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Tuesday informed that more than 58,000 passengers flew on Monday as India resumed limited domestic air travel after two months of suspension because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Airlines’ plans to resume air travel were met with chaos and confusion on Monday after some states restricted the number of flights hours before departure, causing last-minute cancellations and leaving hundreds of passengers stranded.

Airlines, including IndiGo, India’s biggest carrier, SpiceJet, and Vistara–a joint venture between Tata Group and Singapore Airlines, had been preparing to resume operations from Monday with about a third of their capacity amid strict rules.

But new restrictions at major airports, including Mumbai and Chennai, forced airlines to scramble late on Sunday to revise schedules.

The confusion will make it even harder for airlines to recover from the impact of a two-month lockdown to contain the novel coronavirus that has already cost tens of millions of dollars in lost revenue, industry executives, analysts warned.

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