While passengers across the globe are left stranded amidst the widespread pandemic Covid-19, the two major airports run by GMR in Delhi and Hyderabad have been instrumental in responding to people’s queries and concerns on social media.
The nationwide lockdown that has been imposed for 21 days, lead to suspension of all domestic and international flight operations (barring evacuation and essential cargo flight movements) with effect from 25th March 2020. This resulted in higher anxiety levels in passengers’, especially those who were scheduled to travel to and from home during this period.
During such crucial times, passengers were left with only one reliable choice for their enquiries, i.e. social media, especially at a time when call centre operations too were impacted because of the lockdown.
The air traffic also witnessed a steep decline between 15th and 31st March 2020. According to Konnect Insights, during this period, the two GMR run airports – Delhi and Hyderabad airports — were amongst top 5 airports during corona pandemic in terms of social media engagement.
Delhi Airport emerged as the airport with the highest engagement levels and use of proactive communication through its social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, followed by Changi Airport.
“While the whole country was in a state of lockdown, our social media 24X7 command centre 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.” CEO-DIAL Videh Kumar Jaipuriar said.
While Hyderabad airport’s overall social media engagement stood at 4th position, its engagement levels on popular social media platform Facebook was third highest. Hyderabad airport retained the number 4 position on Twitter globally and second in India.
Mr. 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 24×7 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.”
Between 15th and 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.
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 centre, which is functional round the clock, responded to passengers’ queries on a real-time basis. Apart from this, the Airport kept posting about various government advisories and vital updates on the situation at the airport through its various social media pages. This was being done pro-actively to keep its passengers updated.
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 & 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.
Data Source: Konnect Insights