As the state grapples with the coronavirus pandemic, nothing seems to be deterring people – mostly tourists – from flying to Goa. The state’s lone airport at Dabolim has witnessed an increase of 12 times more flight movement last month, i.e. July as compared to April this year.
Airport Authority of India (AAI), through its official twitter handle, gave out the details of flight movements at the Goa airport. In April, the state witnessed just 27 flight movements at the airport. This figure jumped to a whopping 318 flights for the month of July. This translates to 12 times the number of flights in April. For May, the airport had 59 flights, while June saw 265 flights.
“AAI’s Goa Airport @aaigoaairport saw a steady rise in-flight movement since Apr’20. From 27 flights in Apr to nearly 12 times that no. in July these are signs of normalcy returning. In the wake of #COVID19, we aim to be Indian Civil Aviation back to normal, as soon as possible,” AAI said in their tweet.
#AAI's Goa Airport @aaigoaairport saw steady rise in flight movement since Apr'20. From 27 flights in Apr to nearly 12 times that no. in Jul these are signs of normalcy returning. In the wake of #COVID19, we aim to bring Indian Civil Aviation back to normal, as soon as possible. pic.twitter.com/Am5u4CeEBr
— Airports Authority of India (@AAI_Official) August 17, 2020
The state is a famous tourist destination that has also turned out to be a preferred location for many to spend time relaxing amid the coronavirus pandemic that’s raging havoc across the country. Many tourists – including some top business persons – have come to the state as these well-heeled usually have villas and holiday homes across the state.
Incidentally, almost nine private jets have landed in Goa during the Covid-19 pandemic, mostly from Delhi and Mumbai – cities severely affected with Covid cases, however, now recuperating. Most of these include top families from across the country, as one report pointed out LK Advani’s son’s family and also the Shah family opted for private charter jets to fly down to Goa.
Goa opened up its borders for domestic tourists in early July, with around 250 hotels being granted permission to house tourists, subject to proper protocol laid down by the state. The influx of tourists though – mostly within the coastal belts of Goa – has resulted in serious apprehensions among the local population.
Moreover, recent news surfacing of various house parties and underground events along prominent tourist belts of the coastal state has also caused serious problems with the state administration failing to clamp down on these illegalities in time, all this, when the state is witnessing a continuous surge in cases, nowhere close to being reduced.
These illegalities have also shown the participation of many tourists domestic and some foreign too – who choose to stay back in the state – despite several repatriation flights that Goa airport hosted to stranded foreign nationals.
Meanwhile, passengers arriving at Goa airport will be served ‘kadha’ – a type of medicated tea – on a complimentary basis. The same will help boost passenger’s immunity, Dabolim MLA Mauvin Godinho said.
Till date, Goa airport has handled ten Vade Bharat flights, aimed at bringing back stranded citizens from across the world back home.