Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri has confirmed that Domestic Flight services in India will resume from May 25 in a calibrated manner. All airports and air carriers are being informed to be ready for operations from 25th May, 2020. He also said that SOPs for passenger movement are being separately issued by Ministry of Civil Aviation.
This announcement has come days after our sources accessed the information that Government of India is in discussion with airlines to start scheduled commercial flight services post the third phase of lockdown gets over. However, due to differences with various state governments, the resumption got delayed.
Domestic civil aviation operations will recommence in a calibrated manner from Monday 25th May 2020.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.— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) May 20, 2020
The minister later tweeted that centre alone can't decide on when and where domestic flights will fly once the lockdown is lifted. States have to play an important role and decide if they will allow flights to operate from their respective airports.
The tweet read, "It is not upto Ministry of Civil Aviation 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."
Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, SpiceJet said, “We welcome the government’s decision to recommence domestic civil aviation operations from May 25. This resumption will go a long way in lifting the overall economic sentiment in the country. While the SOP for resumption of operations and details of flights to be operated is still awaited, we are sure that this much awaited move will help a large number of passengers by providing them access to the safest and quickest means of transport. SpiceJet is all geared up to resume operations post lockdown and is committed to providing the highest level of cleanliness and a safe, secure and healthy flying experience to its passengers and staff. We will strictly adhere to social distancing norms and SOPs laid down by the Government to ensure the best, the cleanest and the most sanitised flying experience.”
The government has laid down a detailed SOP for resuming the flight services, some of which include no catering for a flight duration of under two hours. Some snacks, however, could still be offered.
The flights, once operational, will have to operate in a limited capacity and will connect major cities. Keeping in mind the safety of the passengers and the staff involved in the functioning of a flight, SOPs will be placed and only healthy people will be allowed to travel.
Here are some of the SOPs set by government before resuming the flight services in a staggered manner -
- No catering in flights with travel duration less than two hours
- Some snacks type item will be served
- Only healthy people will be allowed to travel
- No cabin baggage is allowed
- Only web-checkin allowed
- No use of common area like smoking and prayer rooms
- Mandatory to have Aarogya Setu App on phone
- Mandatory to wear protective gear like mask and hand gloves
- Passengers will fill a form declaring their COVID-19 history, if they were quarantined
- Separate seats at the back for suspected persons
Recently, Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) has made operational several technology-based unique facilities at Delhi Airport, including specially designed UV (ultraviolet) based tunnels to disinfect checkpoint trays and baggage, mobile UV tower to disinfect surfaces in the terminal area and handheld UV devices. In addition, passenger trolley disinfection system and walk-in shoe sanitizer mats will also be made available for passenger safety.