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Resumption of domestic flights in India in a calibrated manner from May 25: Govt

Hardeep Singh Puri has announced the resumption of domestic flight services in India from May 25 in a calibrated manner

  • All airports & air carriers are being informed to be ready for operations from 25th May, said Puri on Twitter

  • The resumption of domestic flight services comes in the fourth phase of the lockdown

New Delhi: Union Minister for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri has announced the resumption of domestic flight services in India from May 25 in a calibrated manner. The statement ends weeks of speculation on the resumption of domestic civil aviation operations in the backdrop of the Coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown. The nation has been under a complete lockdown since March 24, with all modes of transport under suspension. The Railways was the first to resume operations by starting Shramik Special trains to transport migrant workers followed by 15 pairs of special trains. 

And now it’s finally time for domestic airlines to go back to operations. In a tweet on Wednesday, Puri said, “Domestic civil aviation operations will recommence in a calibrated manner from Monday 25th May 2020.”

Airports, airlines asked to be ready for resumption of domestic flight services

While asking airports and airlines to be ready for the resumption of flight services from May 25, the minister said that a detailed SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) will be released by the Aviation Ministry separately. “All airports & air carriers are being informed to be ready for operations from 25th May. SOPs for passenger movement are also being separately issued by @MoCA_GoI.”

The backdrop

The resumption of domestic flight services comes in the fourth phase of the lockdown. Just days ago, Puri had said that a decision on whether domestic flights should be resumed or not cannot be taken by the Centre alone and that it should take into account the various state government’s point of view. “It is not upto @MoCA_GoI or centre alone to decide on resuming domestic flights. In the spirit of cooperative federalism, the govt of states where these flights will take off & land should be ready to allow civil aviation operations,” he had said on Twitter. 

Aarogya Setu will be mandatory for air passengers

According to an advisory released by AAI (Airports Authority of India) for passengers on May 17, passengers would have to mandatorily download the Aarogya Setu app, do a web-check in and carry a print out of their boarding pass before heading to the airport to catch a flight. It also said that air travellers will have to maintain a distance of four feet from co-passengers, wear a mask and other protective gear, wash or sanitise their hands frequently and carry a 350 ml bottle of sanitiser all the time.