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How did 2 international flights land empty in Chennai: Court to Centre
The Madras High Court has sought the Centre to explain how two flights from Dubai and Abu Dhabi landed at the Chennai airport without a single passenger amid many in those countries awaiting their return to Tamil Nadu.
A division bench comprising Justice MM Sundresh raised the topic while hearing a plea moved by the DMK seeking repatriation of Indians stranded abroad to Tamil Nadu under the Vande Bharat Mission due to the lockdown to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Senior Counsel P Wilson appearing for the DMK submitted that even going by Central government documents filed on July 4, out of 149 flights to bring 25,939 passengers, only 58 flights have been provided and the stranded Indians left have to be brought at the earliest.
Based on this, the bench raised the query of the empty flights, to which the senior counsel pointed out that travel agents are playing havoc by booking the tickets in block to augur for better prices.
However, the bench on wondering as to how the travel agents can go at such high loss by not selling the tickets, sought the Additional Solicitor General to explain the situation before adjourning the case to July 30. The Additional Solicitor General also informed the court that he would submit the schedule for the remaining flights during the next hearing.
Meanwhile, the Centre on Wednesday informed the HC that 58 more Vande Bharat Mission flights are scheduled to land in TN. Of them, 41 will land in Chennai, 11 in Tiruchy, four in Coimbatore and two in Madurai.