Pankaj Doshi, a small time businessman from Rajasthan, told IANS: "The connectivity to Jodhpur, my home town, is a major blessing as I would have been stuck here at Chennai if it was not there. There are few trains to my town from South India and also it takes a lot of time to reach there even if I get a train ticket. However, the flight is safe even though I have to pay a much higher fare and I am happy that I will reach home."
With a high number of cases in New Delhi and Mumbai there are very few passengers commuting to these towns. Bengaluru had already announced a lockdown and hence there are no flights to the garden city.
Ullas Kumar Bharadwaj, a teacher from New Delhi, said: "There are no flights to New Delhi and even if there were flights I would not have ventured to travel as I am here with my family and travelling to Delhi now is not safe as there is a huge spike and each and everyone is getting the disease there."
Flights are being operated to Varanasi, Jodhpur, Jaipur, Ranchi and Lucknow and the fares are comparatively higher with price range between Rs 5,000 to Rs 7,500.
There are two flights a day to most of these cities but all the flights are full and the airline companies are also satisfied with the decision to operate these sectors.
T.K. Bindu, a senior official with a private airline, said: "We had decided to continue our operations to these small towns but we found that these sectors are bringing good results as far as travelling populace is concerned and hence the revenue part also."
In Chennai airport, passenger footfall have dipped and there is only 50 per cent of the regular traffic the airport used to handle in earlier days after the first wave of the pandemic.
Almost all the leisure travels have come down and small flights with 60 and 70 seating capacities are being pressed into services.