Domestic flights resume from May 25! SOP for air travel, flight booking rules explained

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Updated: May 21, 2020 11:44 AM

Domestic flight resumption latest news: In consultation with the aviation industry, the government is working on a detailed set of standard operating procedures and going through the initial feedback.

The government is set to introduce a set of new rules and regulations that may very well change the flying experience forever.

COVID-19 to change air travel forever! Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri’s tweet on the resumption of domestic passenger flight operations from Monday, May 25 has created a buzz in the airline sector. He had said that the government will come out with the Standard Operating Procedure for airports and airlines very soon.

As per early indications, flight operations could begin between airports located in green zone areas, but that will leave airline companies to ponder the viability of their flights running in and out of those cities, said an IE report. Most of the country’s biggest city and major contributors to the country’s air passenger number are still marked as red zones. National capital Delhi along with Mumbai, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, etc. are still being under red zone areas. Airline companies may need a go-ahead from the central as well as state governments to operate their flight services, the IE report said further.

In consultation with the aviation industry, the government is working on a detailed set of standard operating procedures and going through the initial feedback. In all likelihood, the government is set to introduce a set of new rules and regulations that may very well change the flying experience forever.

Airport Authority of India’s new SOP for domestic flights operations

  • Aarogya Setu app has been made mandatory except for children below 14 years of age, PTI has reported quoting AAI’s SOP.
  • Sanitization of passengers’ baggage by the airport authority before entry into the terminal building, added the PTI report.
  • Passengers will have to go through a thermal screening zone on the city side of the airport before entering into the terminal building, the PTI report said further.
  • Mandatory social distancing at airports.
  • Upgraded security procedures to ensure minimal contact between passengers and airport employees.
  • Mandatory use of face masks by passengers as well as airport employees.
  • Enhanced security and airport employees at check-in counters to assist passengers in maintaining social distancing norms.
  • The AAI has suggested the blockade of seats between individuals by using proper markers and tapes to ensure social distancing between people sitting at the airport terminals.
  • The use of alternate check-in counters has been prescribed by the AAI to avoid congestion.
  • Every airline company will have its designated CUSS kiosk so that they can deploy their staff to help passengers.
  • The AAI has asked for the proper provision of Personal Protective Equipment including face masks and sanitizers.
  • The AAI has recommended the use of PPE wherever deemed necessary.
  • The AAI has asked for cleanness and sanitization of ‘every nook and corner’ of the terminal buildings including washrooms, chairs, counters, X-ray machines, trolleys, travellators, escalators, lifts, railings, doors, etc.
  • The use and supply of Newspapers and magazines at airports/lounges have been restricted by the AAI.

Airlines’ readiness for the resumption

One of India’s major air carrier Indigo has announced its readiness to resume services from the scheduled day of restart–May 25. It also said that it is working with government authorities to confirm the route of service to its passengers.

On the other hand, SpiceJet has welcomed the government’s views to recommence domestic civil aviation operations from May 25. SpiceJet Chairman and MD, Ajay Singh has said that the proposed resumption will provide a huge boost in lifting the overall economic sentiment in India.

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