India to resume domestic flights from May 25

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The resumption of flights within the country, exactly two months after they were suspended, was announced in a tweet by India’s Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Wednesday. — Courtesy photo

Saudi Gazette report

NEW DELHI — India will resume domestic commercial flights from May 25 following the government’s decision to ease lockdown measures that were enforced to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

The resumption of flights within the country, exactly two months after they were suspended, was announced in a tweet by India’s Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Wednesday.

"Domestic civil aviation operations will recommence in a calibrated manner. All airports and air carriers are being informed to be ready for operations from 25th May. Standard Operating

Procedures for passenger movement are also being separately issued by the Ministry of Civil Aviation," Puri tweeted.


Earlier, Puri had said that the domestic flight operations in India would resume once the state governments are ready to open airports. The federal government alone cannot make a decision in this regard.

"It is not upto @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," the aviation minister had said in a tweet.

The details of the arrangements are expected to be released by the minister on Thursday at a virtual press conference.

These include COVID-19-mandated new rules and regulations such as mandatory social distancing at airports, changes to security procedures, use of face masks and other personal protective equipment by passengers and employees. Some form of health checks may also be introduced.

The Airports Authority of India indicated in a communication to airport managers to expect flights at 30 percent capacity to facilitate social distancing.

Movement of air cargo, medical evacuation and emergency flights approved by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation have continued during the two months of lockdown.


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