Centre gives nod to resuming domestic flights in a "calibrated manner"
With more relaxations being granted, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) is set to resume domestic civil aviation after a halt of almost 2 months.
Union Minister for Civil Aviation, Hardeep Singh Puri, announced that domestic civil aviation operations will resume "in a calibrated manner" from Monday, May 25. In a tweet, the Minister said: "All airports and air carriers are being informed to be ready for operation from 25th May." Under the official call for the 4th phase of lockdown, many airlines had already started accepting flight ticket bookings for June and were waiting for the centre's nod on resuming services, according to PTI.
With more relaxations being granted, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) is set to resume domestic civil aviation after a halt of almost 2 months. All flight operations were suspended on March 25 as per the centre's directives. Standard procedure and safety measures are yet to be announced. "SOPs for passenger movement are also being separately issued," the tweet read.
In light of the Coronavirus crisis, AAI had earlier 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 per cent capacity to facilitate required social distancing." The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had earlier stated that all commercial passenger flights were to remain suspended till May 31. However, under Mission Vande Bharat, Indian citizens stranded abroad continue to be brought back to India amid the strict suspension. As of Tuesday "1912 Indians returned on 11 flights from Dubai, Bahrain, Kuwait, Kuala Lumpur, Dhaka, Manila, Dammam, Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Jakarta," Puri tweeted.
In a tweet on Tuesday, Puri hinted at the easing of restrictions on domestic flights with the concurrence of other states. "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 said.