Tribune News Service
New Delhi, May 21
Limits on airfares have been set in seven bands as per the flight durations and they would be in place till August 24, said Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, on Thursday.
Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said the first band, which would have a specific lower and upper limits of airfare, will consist of flights that were of less than 40 minutes duration. The second, third, fourth and fifth bands of upper limit would be of flights with durations of 40 to 60 minutes, 60 to 90 minutes, 90 to 120 minutes and 120 to 150 minutes, respectively, while the sixth and seventh bands would consist of flights with durations between 150 to 180 minutes and 180 to 210 minutes, respectively, he added.
Aviation Secretary PS Kharola, who was also present at the press conference, said 40 per cent of the seats would have to be sold at the mid-point of the lower and upper airfare limits set for the flights.
The minister said he could not comment right now on when flight operations would be restored completely.
If a passenger did not have the Aarogya Setu app on her or his phone for some reason, she or he could give a self-declaration form, the minister said, adding that such a passenger would not be stopped from boarding the flight.
The minister added that private carriers would also join the ‘Vande Bharat Mission’ to repatriate Indians stranded abroad amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Domestic flight operations will resume in India from May 25. All commercial passenger flights were suspended in the country from March 25, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19.
AAI issues SOPs for flight operations from May 25
As per the guidelines or Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) issued by the Airport Authority of India ((AAI), passengers would mandatorily require walking through a thermal screening zone before entering the airport terminal building and all have to have the Aarogya Setu app on their mobiles compulsorily, but it will not be mandatory for children below 14 years of age.
The passengers will need to reach airports at least two hours before the departure time of the scheduled flight and they will be allowed to enter the terminal building if their flights are within four hours. All passengers would compulsorily wear a face mask and have gloves.
Passengers will not be allowed to use trolleys except for special cases, for which they will have to be informed in advance so that airport management would ensure that the facility gets disinfected.
State governments and Union Territory administrations have to ensure public transport and private taxis for passengers and airline crew. Only personal vehicles or select cab services will be allowed to take passengers and staff to and from the airports.
It also asked to ensure contactless security checks and physical distancing in food areas. The AAI has also asked airport operators to make “appropriate arrangement for sanitisation of baggage before entry to the terminal building”. — With inputs from PTI