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Domestic flights ops to resume from May 25

By IANS Updated: May 20, 2020 7:14 pm

New Delhi/Mumbai, May 20 (IANS): Domestic passenger flights would be resumed in a calibrated manner, two months after suspending them under the national lockdown norms, tweeted Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Wednesday.

“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,” he tweeted.

According to the Minister, the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the passenger movement would be issued soon.

The development comes a day after Puri had said it was not only up to the central government to decide on the resumption of domestic flights as states would also have to be ready to allow operations.

“It is not up to @MoCA_GoI 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,” Puri tweeted on Tuesday.

Ever since the imposition of nationwide lockdown in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak on March 25, the passenger air service was suspended for both scheduled domestic and international flights.

On Sunday, after the Ministry of Home Affairs’ decision to extend the lockdown till May 31, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had said it would inform the airlines about flights resumption in due course.

In the guidelines for lockdown 4.0, the MHA said all domestic and international air travel would be prohibited, except for domestic medical services, air ambulance and security purposes.

IANS on Tuesday reported that Covid-19 battered airline industry had started bookings for the travel, starting June 1.

When contacted on Wednesday, many airline executives said they would swiftly upload new ticket bookings itineraries, representing new schedule from May 25, on online platforms.

At present, some players have made cargo operations their main revenue stream. Still, fixed cost, especially the employee compensation component alone, dented their financial positions and stock prices.

But the latest announcement should bring some stability to the companies business continuity plans.

A second airline executive told IANS not all sectors would be offered under the new bookings itinerary and his airline would only take booking for 25 per cent of capacity.

By IANS Updated: May 20, 2020 7:14:42 pm