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Indian airports on high security, Mumbai flights back to normal

As Mumbai recovers from the dastardly terror attacks, all major airports across India, especially those in the western region, have been put on ultra high alert and extra vigil has been mounted.

Image Courtesy FT.com

Extra surveillance has been mounted, with additional Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and police personnel being deployed to keep an eye not just around the terminals, but around the airport perimeters as well.

Sniffer dogs were being deployed in some airports to assist the checking of baggage and plainclothes security are deployed. Officials added, that sky-marshals were boarding planes flying on specifically identified routes, on a regular basis.

Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport has been virtually locked down. The security commences at the main highway with vehicles being stopped and completely inspected, along with passengers and their documents, before being allowed to even enter, the airport premises.

Other major metro airports are also in a similar “enhanced inspection” mode.

Airlines, both domestic and international, are informing passengers to arrive at the airports at least one hour before the original check-in time for thorough inspection of their baggage and the vehicles in which they are coming.

Passengers have also been asked by the airlines to carry valid identification documents. I would advise carrying two pieces of identification, and please carry an OFFICIAL ID.

For flight information at Mumbai (Airport Code BOM) I recommend Flightstats

Status of various airlines

Domestic Airlines
Air India, Jet, JetLite, Kingfisher, IndiGo, SpiceJet, etc., are all mostly back to normal.

International Airlines
Almost all airlines schedules have returned back to normal today 28 November 2008. Some quotes from selected airlines’ websites for your ready reference. However, I will advise you to please contact the airline for the latest information.

Lufthansa

Lufthansa will resume its flights to Mumbai today Friday, 28.11.2008 according to schedule.

Lufthansa passengers booked to and from Mumbai with a departure date until 01.12.2008 may change their booking to a different Lufthansa destination in India free of charge. Alternatively, the booking can be cancelled without additional costs.

Air France

Further to the situation in Mumbai, Air France has had to cancel the following flights on November 27th, 2008.
AF134 Paris CDG / Mumbai, departure initially planned at 10h30 Local time.
AF135 Mumbai / Paris CDG, departure initially planned at 02h40 Local time.

The flights on Friday November 28th will operate as usual. :
AF134 Paris CDG / Mumbai, departure initially planned at 10h30 Local time.
AF135 Mumbai / Paris CDG, departure initially planned at 02h40 Local time.

Then, AF135 on November 29th Mumbai / Paris CDG is postponed on November 30th at 00h55.( Flight number AF135A)

Emirates

Following the horrifying attacks in Mumbai in several locations across the city on 26th November 2008, Emirates’ town, ticketing and finance offices, which are located in South Mumbai, will remain closed on 28th November.

Our contact centre (running on skeleton staff), airport office and cargo operations will function as normal.

Currently, our flights to and from Mumbai are operating as per schedule. We will continue to monitor the situation closely. The safety of our passengers and crew is of utmost importance.

Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines flights to and from Mumbai are operating normally at this time.

The Singapore Airlines’ town office in Mumbai is closed. Reservations inquires are being supported by our Reservations Centre in Delhi, and ticketing issues will be managed at the airport. Customers may contact the Reservations Centre in Delhi via: 91-11-23356683 or 91-11-23356684.

Customers booked on flights are advised to monitor for news about flights on the Singapore Airlines website.

Singapore Airlines will waive all cancellation and change fees for customers with tickets to and from Mumbai on Singapore Airlines flights as follows:

  • Valid for tickets issued prior to 27 November 2008 for travel up to and including 7 December 2008, on a Singapore Airlines flight to Mumbai;
  • Customers may change the routing of their journey, defer the date of travel or cancel, without penalty, until 7 February 2009 in the same class;
  • Any change of date or routing will be charged at the new fare for that journey less the fare for the journey paid to Mumbai, with no amendment fee (eg, if travel is deferred to a higher season, the seasonal fare difference will still apply);
  • The same conditions apply for KrisFlyer redemption tickets.

British Airways

British Airways flights continue to operate to Mumbai. Customers may make changes to their travel plans as outlined below.

Customers who have bookings made before midnight on Wednesday 26 November 2008, for travel up to and including midnight on Wednesday 3 December 2008 may:

Rebook in same class and cabin as the original ticket for a different date to Mumbai.

or

Rebook to an alternative destination in India in the same class and cabin as the original booking at no additional cost to the customer.

If the same booking class is not available, the next lowest class may be booked within the same cabin.Customers will not be offered a refund unless their fare rules allow.Customers currently in Mumbai affected by the situation are advised to contact 1-800 102 FLYBA (1-800 102 35922)


About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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