Business Traveller (India)

Indigo Airbus A321 Neo Mumbai-Malé

- Sanchita Nambiar

The cabin crew were cordial, and made sure that passengers followed all the necessary protocols

BACKGROUND Indian low-cost carrier Indigo is operating flights on the India-Maldives route under the air bubble agreement signed between the government­s of both countries.

CHECK IN Flight 6E-1784 was scheduled for departure at 1045 hours from Terminal 2 of Chhatrapat­i Shivaji Maharaj Internatio­nal Airport. Before entering the terminal, I showed my air ticket, passport (identity proof) as well as the green (safe) status on my Aarogya Setu app.

While I waited in the queue to checkin, a member of the on-ground staŠ came to review my travel documents. For passengers travelling from Mumbai to Malé, the required documents include a negative Covid-19 test report, health declaratio­n form (submit the form within 24 hours of departure on imuga.immigratio­n.gov.mv and obtain a QR code), resort reservatio­n voucher and return ticket. Make sure to carry hard copies as well as digital versions of the documents for a hassle-free procedure.

After collecting my boarding pass, I headed towards the gate with ample amount of time in my hand to undergo other formalitie­s such as security check and immigratio­n; and also catch a hearty airport breakfast.

BOARDING My first internatio­nal trip amidst the pandemic came with its fair share of travel anxiety. However, the orderly airport norms along with a well-equipped and informed Indigo staŠ helped me feel relatively calmer. Since I got a middle seat, the safety kit included a wraparound gown in addition to the face mask, a face shield and sanitiser. I proceeded to board the aircraft while social distancing and was satisfied to see people finally realising the need and importance of maintainin­g adequate space between each other.

THE SEAT The Airbus A321 Neo aircraft comes in an all-economy class configurat­ion. My middle seat (5B) didn’t seem burdensome as my acquaintan­ces who occupied the seats next to me (window and the aisle) ensured that I got both the armrests. Moreover, it didn’t feel cramped up and there was a good amount of leg space which was a relief.

BEST SEAT Choose a window seat if you wish to catch a glimpse or take aerial snaps of the stunning islands of Maldives as the descent begins.

THE FLIGHT The flight was comfortabl­e, and I managed to get a good rest, thereby making up for all the sleep that I lost the previous night, owing to my lastminute packing habit. It was a two-hour 45-minutes journey, most of which I spent sleeping. I woke up in between to have a paneer (cottage cheese) sandwich which satiated my hunger pang followed by a refreshing mango juice.

I was particular­ly impressed by the functionin­g of the cabin crew who were cordial, but at the same time made sure that passengers followed all the necessary protocols such as wearing face masks and shields.

ARRIVAL We arrived at Velana Internatio­nal Airport post 1300 hours. The de-boarding was done row wise, and physical distancing was practised, thanks to the crew members who were making constant announceme­nts regarding it.

VERDICT A comfortabl­e journey with high-standards of safety and a wellequipp­ed staŠ.

CONFIGURAT­ION

3-3

FLIGHT TIME

Two hours and 45 minutes

PRICE

Internet rates for a one-way journey from Mumbai to Malé is upwards of ₹7,500

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