Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri announced on Wednesday that domestic flights shall resume from May 25 and a detailed Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) will be issued soon by the Ministry.
The Minister tweeted this development and said:
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
“Domestic civil aviation operations will recommence in a calibrated manner from Monday 25th May 2020. All airports and air carriers are being informed to be ready for operations from 25th May”.
He added that: “Domestic flights will commence from 25th May, initially, only a small percentage of the total number of domestic flights will be operated. Then depending on the experience, we gain, we will increase the number of flights”.
Domestic flight operations had been suspended since March when the nation went into a state of lockdown to prevent the spread of the deadly Sars-COV-2.
During this period of lockdown, only cargo flights carrying essential supplies and those that were part of the Vande Bharat Mission to rescue Indian nationals stranded abroad were operating.
Earlier, the government had said that domestic flights except those carrying cargo would continue to be suspended during the fourth phase of Lockdown.
Even the Minister had said that the states’ consent had to be taken into consideration before making any new announcement.
He later said: “In the spirit of cooperative federalism, the government of states where these flights will take off and land should be ready to allow civil aviation operations.”
The government and airline companies are working to ensure that physical distancing norms are being practiced seriously. As per information available, middle seats may be left vacant and various other procedures may change.
Airlines based out of India have recently submitted their ‘fitness certificates’ to the DGCA and have been ready to ferry domestic passengers.
They have also been subjected to heavy financial losses.