About a third of operations will be allowed when domestic flights resume next week and the upper and lower limit of airfares will be prescribed by the government, according to the civil aviation ministry’s standard operating procedures for the airlines.
“Airlines should adhere to the upper and lower limit of fares prescribed by the ministry during the Covid-19 pandemic,” the ministry said.
India will resume domestic flights beginning May 25, the government said on Wednesday, announcing a gradual reboot of air travel that was halted two months ago on the account of the lockdown imposed to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
Elderly, pregnant women, and people with health issues are advised to avoid travel. Passengers staying in the containment zone will not be allowed to travel. Also, they should not travel if they have been tested positive for Covid-l9, say the guidelines.
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“A self-declaration/ Aarogya Setu App status would also be obtained stating that the passenger is free of Covid-19 symptoms. Passengers with “red” status on the Aarogya Setu app would not be permitted to travel,” it said.
However, Aarogya Setu is not mandatory for children below 14 years of age. State governments and local administrations will have to ensure the availability of public transport and private cabs for providing connectivity to the airport for passengers.
“In case of non-availability of Aarogya Setu app, the passenger should be facilitated to go to a counter provided by the airport where Aarogya setu can be downloaded,” it said.
Passengers may also have to quarantine upon reaching their destination depending on the norms decided by the states.
Also read: Can’t eat inside plane, avoid lavatory- India sets ground rules to fly again
“On arrival at the destination airport, passengers will have to adhere to such health protocols as prescribed by the destination states/UTs,” the guidelines added.
Those travelling will be required to wear the face mask and have been asked to reach the airport at least two hours before the departure. Only one check-in bag will be allowed and airlines will not provide meal services on board.
Passengers have been advised to familiarise themselves about the new procedures at the airport, especially about the norms of social distancing, minimum touch, baggage limitations, Covid-I9 declaration, registering on Aarogya Setu app, digital payments use of authorised taxis.
The guidelines advised people against reaching the airport at the last minute.
International flights have not arrived in India since March 22. Cargo flights and those evacuating foreign nationals have been operating though.
Also read: AAI announces SOPs for flights: What is allowed at airports, what isn’t
Resuming domestic flight services is seen as yet another step by the government in the direction of a graded exit from the lockdown which has been extended till the end of this month. The curbs have taken a toll on the Indian economy, stalling activities across sectors, including the aviation industry.