Domestic flights to resume from May 25: Civil Aviation Minister
Domestic flights are set to resume operations from May 25 after being grounded for nearly two months amid the nationwide lockdown, imposed to limit the spread of COVID-19. The Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Wednesday announced the resumption of domestic flights, adding that standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the same will be issued by the Ministry separately. Here are more details.
'Domestic civil aviation operations will recommence in calibrated manner'
Puri tweeted on Wednesday, "Domestic civil aviation operations will recommence in a calibrated manner from Monday, May 25, 2020." He added, "All airports and air carriers are being informed to be ready for operations from May 25. SOPs for passenger movement are also being separately issued by the Ministry of Civil Aviation." This story will be updated as and when the SOPs are notified.
You can view the tweet here
Commercial flights grounded since March 25
Commercial flight operations in India have been shut since March 25, when the nationwide lockdown came into effect. Since then, the lockdown has been extended thrice. Currently, India is in the fourth phase of the lockdown, which will last until May 31. During the lockdown, flight operations have been limited to cargo, medical evacuation, special flights, etc.
'Civil aviation ecosystem has been ready for a week'
Earlier Wednesday, The Economic Times quoted Puri as saying that the civil aviation ecosystem has been ready to resume flight operations for about a week. On Tuesday, he had said the resumption of domestic flights was up to both central and state governments. He tweeted, "The government of states where these flights will take-off and land should be ready to allow civil aviation operations."
Recently, Airports Authority of India issued guidelines for passengers
The Airports Authority of India (AAI), which manages over 100 airports across the country, had recently issued guidelines for passengers for when air travel resumes. The guidelines asked travelers to carry hand sanitizers, have the Aarogya Setu app installed on their phones, etc.
Resumption may not be at full capacity
Earlier this month, Puri had said that flight operations may start at 25% capacity of what was stopped in March-end. The AAI's directorate of operations had also said, "Once the lockdown period is declared to be over, airports shall be facilitating limited domestic/international scheduled flights in phases, to start with, maybe at 30% capacity to facilitate required social distancing."Share this timeline