Bookings for domestic flights to start on Thursday

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on May 20, 2020

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Bookings for domestic flights, which are scheduled to be operated from May 25, are likely to open on Thursday. Sources told BusinessLine that all the airports in the country will be connected and that about one-third of the flights will be allowed to operate.

“This means that if an airline operated say 21 flights a day between Mumbai and Delhi they will be allowed seven. Details are being finalised and a clearer picture will emerge tomorrow (Thursday) after an official meeting,” official sources said.

This follows a tweet by Hardeep Puri, Minister of State for Civil Aviation on Wednesday, which stated that domestic flight operations will begin on May 25 in a calibrated manner. “All airports and air carriers are being informed to be ready for operations on May 25,” the Ministers tweet said adding that Special Operating Procedures (SOPs) for passenger movement are also being issued separately by the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

The Government had earlier suspended all domestic and international flights till May 31, owing to the lockdown. Both domestic and international flights have been suspended since March 25 this year.

It is not immediately clear to which cities flights which begin from May 25 will operate,who all will be allowed to fly and when bookings for the flights schedule to operate will begin. Airlines have already said that they will operate few flights when operations restart. Airlines are expecting a heavy rush initially as passengers stuck in other cities will want to get back but are not sure how future passenger ticket bookings will look.

Some time back both IndiGo and Vistara had announced that they will not operate any flights till May 31.

In anticipation of the proposed restarting of domestic flights, Airports Authority of India (AAI),which manages several airports around the country had tweeted guidelines whichhave to be adhered to by all passengers. These include doing a web check in and carrying print out of boarding card, mandatorily downloading the Aarogya application,wearing a mask and other protective gear and maintain four feet physical distance from a co-passenger, among others.

In addition, the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, which manages the security at various airports has decided to do away with the stamping of the boarding cards.

Published on May 20, 2020

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