After two months, commercial aviation is finally coming back to life from 25th May, the Civil Aviation Ministry recently announced. All domestic as well as international flight operations were brought to a standstill back in March as the country went into the lockdown. Although the fourth phase of the lockdown is currently implemented, the government has started to lift several restrictions.
Despite banning flights, domestic and international alike, till 31st May, the Government of India has reversed its decision. In the announcement made on the evening of 20th May, the Civil Ministry gave the green light to commercial domestic flights. However, international flight operations are halted till 31st May.
Moreover, to ensure the safety of flyers, the authorities have also announced standard operating procedure for passengers and airports. Some of these are:
· Passengers will be required to report at the report two hours before their flight to make sure that social distancing is practised at every step.
· Flyers will be thermally screened at arrival as well as departures.
· Masks, Aarogya Setu app and web check-in have been made mandatory for all travellers. Children below the age of 14 need not have the app.
· Boarding passes will not be stamped to ensure social distancing.
Several inflight SOPs have also been announced by the authorities. These include:
· Travellers will be allowed to carry 350 ml sanitiser on board.
· Inflight services have also been adjusted. While low-cost carriers will not offer any inflight meal, full-service air passenger carriers can only offer packed meals.
Apart from these, special boarding and deboarding procedure have also been announced.
These measures will surely help boost confidence in travellers making domestic flight bookings. Announcement on international flights is still awaited from GOI.