New Delhi (IANS) Inspite of several challenges posed by Covid-19, the top executive of national capital's IGI Airport estimates that domestic passenger traffic will bounce back in another 6 to 8 months.
The Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL), the firm that operates the IGIA here, said the resumption of domestic operations with new safety procedures was the key turnaround point which allows for the eventual bounce back in traffic to happen.
Domestic flight services resumed on May 25, after many anxious moments and exactly two months after they were suspended due to the outbreak of Covid-19.
However, challenges such as new state specific flight acceptance and quarantine norms along with a limited initial flight deployment capacity will hamper the growth.
Nevertheless, DIAL CEO Videh Kumar Jaipuriar said: "I feel that the'Visiting Friends and Relatives' segment will be the first to recover."
"Based on the situation other segments such as leisure and business travel will also recover," he told IANS.
According to Jaipuriar, the new safety procedures and protocols at the airport should instil confidence in flyers.
To promote safe and healthy air travel, IGIA has implemented various measures such as deployment of UV Technology based baggage sanitising machines, scan and fly kiosks and queue managers at boarding and bus gates.
Other measures including installation of automatic hand sanitiser machines, floor markers, allocation of entry gates and check-in islands for departing passengers have been implemented at the airport.
Apart from new safety procedures, IGIA has pressed its most advanced and spacious terminal - T3 - to handle the domestic traffic.
Besides, the airport has provided additional seating arrangements for passengers near the check-in counters, security areas and near immigration desks.
In addition, to avoid close contact and crowding at the counters, passengers are encouraged to check-in at home or use self-service facilities such as self check-in facility and self bag tag facility.
Furthermore, Jaipuriar added that upcoming festive season will play a major part in giving a boost to passenger traffic.
"We estimate that within the next 6-8 months, there might be a total recovery in domestic traffic," he said.
"The upcoming festive season will also play a part in giving a boost to traffic."
The airport is a hub of major domestic airlines such as Air India, IndiGo, Vistara and SpiceJet. At its peak, IGIA handled over 900 arrivals and departures.
On Monday, it will be handling 118 departure and 125 arrivals.
Nonetheless, IGIA has emerged as a vital tool in India's efforts to restock key medical supplies across the country and to repatriate foreigners along with hosting the 'Vande Bharat' flights, bringing back stranded Indians from various countries.