Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri announced the resumption of domestic air travel. Flight rules amended amid COVID-19; capping on airfare and only one check-in baggage.
The domestic flights will start operation from May 25 in a calibrated manner. Civil Aviation Minister said that the government has decided to divide routes into seven sections as per the journey duration for fare control. The limit on airfare would remain in place till 24th August. Further, the ministry has permitted only one-third of flights from the metro to non-metro cities where weekly departures are more than 100. However, he did not say anything about the complete restoration of the flight operations.
The first band will consist of flights that are of less than 40 minutes duration. The subsequent bands from the second to the seventh are of flights with durations of 40-60, 60-90, 90-120, 120-150, 150-180, and 180-210 minutes respectively. Besides, 40% of the seats will have to be sold at a fare less than the midpoint of the band. The capping applies only to base fares. Taxes, such as user development fee, GST will be charged additionally.
Guidelines for Passengers
Passengers will need to wear protective gear and face mask to board the flight. Also, they must carry a bottle of sanitizer with them. Also, they will require to certify their health status through self-declaration form or Aarogya Setu App status. The ministry will not allow passengers with red status on Aarogya Setu App to travel. However, Aarogya Setu App is not mandatory for children under 14 years. Also, anyone from the containment zone will not be allowed to travel.
In all, the restarting of domestic flights is another step taken to exit from the lockdown in a staggered manner.