New Delhi: The coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has tightened its grip over the world, including India, forcing the entire nation into lockdown for 21 days from 25th March to April 14, 2020. This has lead to suspension of all domestic and international flight operations, except evacuation and essential cargo flights, but during this crucial period, Delhi Airport has played a crucial role through its social media platforms to facilitate its passengers.
During crucial times, when passengers merely depended on Social Media for their inquiries, especially at a time when call center operations too were impacted because of the lockdown, the online related traffic sky-rocketed for all airports. Delhi Airport recorded the highest online traffic as it witnessed the highest traffic ever on its social media accounts owing to the evolving situation due to Coronavirus pandemic outbreak, according to the Delhi Airport statement that cited Konnect Insights data.
Delhi Airport recorded the highest engagement levels and use of proactive communication through its social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram during the period 15th to 31st March 2020, while the second most engaging airport was Changi. The two GMR run airports were amongst the top 5 airports during the corona pandemic in terms of social media engagement, it added.
According to CEO-DIAL Videh Kumar Jaipuriar, “While the whole country was in a state of lockdown, our social media 24X7 command center remained fully functional just like any other essential service at the airport. The cutting edge cloud-based technology deployed by us ensured that the team could operate remotely from their home and adhere to the 21 days lockdown."
"We still continue to respond almost real-time to the passengers’ queries and engage with them proactively through advisories and updates. It has also helped us in gathering insight into the situation on the ground through online conversations. The team’s contribution is truly on the lines of #WorkFromHub culture promoted during the COVID-19 crises,” Jaipuriar said.
Notably, passengers had to depend merely on social media for their inquiries as the lockdown had even impacted the call center operations.
During the period 15th to 31st March 2020, Delhi Airport did 99 proactive posts on FB, Twitter and Instagram combined, which is maximum by any global airport. Second highest was Bangalore with 80 proactive posts followed by LAX and Heathrow with 74 and 68 proactive posts, respectively, said the statement.
It further added that passengers relied on the Delhi Airport’s social media handles for any information, such as flight status, availability of transport (taxi, metro, etc), the status of lockdown and critical travel-related information and advisories issued by the government on regular basis.
Delhi Airport’s command center, which is functional round the clock, responded to passengers’ queries on a real-time basis, besides posting various government advisories and vital updates on the situation at the airport through its various social media pages.
Notably, the airport operator also created a dedicated landing page on its official website www.newdelhiairport.in where all essential travel-related information such as latest govt and travel-related advisories, FAQs, important contact details of govt bodies, embassies and airlines have been made available along with the steps taken to safeguard passengers and employees.
SGK Kishore, CEO, GHIAL said: “Handling the Passengers’ concerns through the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak and lockdown has been our top priority. In line with our motto ‘Passenger is Prime’, GMR Hyderabad International Airport has been focusing on handling queries and distress calls from passengers and their family and friends in real-time during these unprecedented times by leveraging our 24x7 social media platforms."
"These challenging times saw our Contact Centre face a steep rise in the volume of passenger queries of all kinds from flight information to safety measures in place at the airport. But the spike in volume did not deter us from responding to each query with a personal touch in the quickest possible time,” he added
Notably, GMR run Hyderabad is the only Indian Airport besides Delhi to be in list of top 5 airports in terms of overall social media engagement.
While Hyderabad airport’s overall social media engagement is 4th highest, its engagement levels on popular social media platform Facebook was third highest. Hyderabad airport retained number 4 position on Twitter globally and second in India.