India to resume domestic flights

Photo: WAM

India will resume domestic commercial flights from 25th May as part of a continuing relaxation of its lockdown to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

The resumption of internal flights, exactly two months after they were suspended, was announced in a tweet by India’s Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri this evening.

"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 announced.

Further details of the arrangements, which will bring relief to thousands of passengers stranded across India by the sudden suspension of flights, will be released by Puri tomorrow afternoon at a 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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