Airline executives have resented the idea of resumption of flight operations between cities classified as green zones, stating that this will be unviable as major metro airports fall under the red zone.
A committee headed by the Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola met last week to discuss the resumption of air travel as India observes relaxation on lockdown from May 17. Senior executives who were present at the meet disagreed with the proposal and stated that operations cannot resume without at least three major airports being functional.
The top six metro airports in the country account for about 65 per cent of the domestic air traffic. The Union Health Ministry has divided 733 districts across India into red, orange and green zones based on the number of COVID-19 cases and the increasing rate of the disease.
The list marked major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad as ‘no active zones’ as the lockdown was extended by two weeks after May 3.
Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri recently said that the government was considering gradually restarting flight operations beginning with routes between green zones.
Apart from this, senior government officials close to the matter have suggested that air transport between red zones could only be possible if the state government concerned agreed. States such as Maharashtra which has reported an exponential increase in the number of cases has made it clear that restarting aviation is not even in their agenda now.