GMR-led Hyderabad International Airport is steadily showing an improvement in passenger footfalls from 3,000 a day when the flights resumed on May 25 — after a hiatus of two months due to COVID-19, to around 12,000 passengers in July first week.

During the last 40 days or so, there has been a three-fold growth in daily air traffic movement from around 40 arrivals and departures to around 120 plus domestic flights movement. It has re-connected with 44 destinations across the country out of the 55 domestic destinations or about 80% reconnect compared to that of pre-COVID times, said an official spokesman on Monday. Data gathered from the airport sources show that about 40% of the total passenger movement from Hyderabad includes the connections to the metro cities while it is gradually showing encouraging signs from other Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities.

The Rajiv Gandhi International Airport has also taken a slew of measures with focus on a seamlessly contact-less boarding experience for passengers, including some stringent safety measures in a bid to bolster the confidence of the air passenger. Thermal scanning of every departing passenger, availability of automatic hand sanitiser dispensers at various places, sanitisation tunnels for luggage trolleys, placing floor markers, staggered seating arrangements, allocation of entry gates and check-in islands for departure passengers to encourage compliance of social distancing norms and minimising human contact at the airport have become the norm.

The spokesman pointed out that passengers are being encouraged to check in at home or use self-service facilities like contactless check-in facility, contactless security check, contactless retail, food & beverages, etc., self-bag tag facility to avoid close contact and crowding at the counters. It was the first to introduce seamless e-boarding for domestic flights in 2015 itself and has been offering 100% e-boarding for all domestic flights operating from here since then, he added. At its peak before the pandemic-induced lockdown and subsequent restrictions in flights movement, the airport used to have movement of about 60,000 passengers and around 500 flights — domestic and international.

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