As the Covid-19 cases have started showing a rise in Kerala and Maharashtra the flight movement on the Goa Airport had shown a sudden spike with Goa International airport handling more than 160 flights over a weekend. Goa is currently the only hottest travel destination in the country.
Goa airport director Gagan Malik said that at 24,649, the passenger footfall is the highest since the pandemic began. “It was a busy weekend at Goa International Airport, which handled 80 arrivals and 80 departures of domestic flights,” said Gagan Malik.
“We haven’t seen any impact on flights. If you look at the footfall numbers, 24,649 which is the highest post resumption, it doesn’t look like there is a decline in travelers,”. Further, he added, “In the coming days, GoAir is adding six to seven flights, IndiGo is adding two flights and SpiceJet is also adding flights, and we will soon connect to Patna,”.
Airport data reports revealed that 11,319 passengers flew into the state while departing passengers were 13,330. This is besides the Vande Bharat flights and relief flights that operated over the weekend to Dubai and Sharjah. Also, most of these flights and passengers are coming from metros such as Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Kolkata.
Stakeholders said that the continued demand for flights to Goa is driven by pandemic fatigue and due to the lack of travel destinations. Tourists from other states visit Goa to relieve their stress and enjoy a peaceful holiday. With international travel still banned in most parts of the country, overseas tourist destinations remain out of reach and the most accessible option that remains is Goa.
The authorities in Goa are seeing the increased flight movement as a sign of normalcy returning to Goa, the best travel destination of the country. The decrease in covid cases in Goa may also be a reason for people to choose Goa as a possible place to visit.
While the covid cases seem to be well managed in Goa with the successful vaccine rollout, the situation in other states is alarming. Active coronavirus cases in India have shown a spike of 3% over the last few days to go back over the 1.5 lakh mark for the first time in 17 days. The surge in cases is the steepest since November-end last year. The increase in national Covid-19 cases is driven by fresh outbreaks in Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. Maharashtra has already introduced fresh curbs in view of the rising number of cases.