Logistics

Domestic passenger flights to resume from May 25, says Hardeep Singh Puri

PTI New Delhi | Updated on May 20, 2020 Published on May 20, 2020

A file photo of Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri   -  Kamal Narang

All scheduled commercial passenger flights have been suspended in India since March 25

Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, on Wednesday, said that domestic scheduled commercial passenger flights will resume in a calibrated manner from May 25, two months after the services were shut due to coronavirus.

All scheduled commercial passenger flights have been suspended in India since March 25, when the Modi government imposed lockdown to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“Domestic civil aviation operations will recommence in a calibrated manner from Monday, May 25, 2020. All airports and air carriers are being informed to be ready for operations from 25th May,” Puri said on Twitter.

 

“SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) for passenger movement are also being separately issued by the Ministry of Civil Aviation,” he added.

The aviation sector has been hit hard by the pandemic as various countries, including India, decided to suspend commercial flights completely to curb the spread of the virus.

Since March 25, Indian airlines have taken steps like firing expat pilots, announcing pay cuts and leave without pay for employees to conserve cash.

Reacting to this development, SpiceJet Chairman and Managing Director Ajay Singh said, "We welcome the government’s decision to recommence domestic civil aviation operations from May 25. This resumption will go a long way in lifting the overall economic sentiment in the country. While the SOP for resumption of operations and details of flights to be operated is still awaited, we are sure that this much-awaited move will help a large number of passengers by providing them access to the safest and the quickest means of transport."

The first, second and third phase of lockdown were between March 25-April 14, April 15-May 3 and May 4-May 17, respectively. The fourth phase started from May 18 and would end on May 31.

Cargo flights, medical evacuation flights, offshore helicopter operations and special flights approved by the aviation regulator DGCA have been allowed to operate as usual during the lockdown period. The virus has infected more than 1.06 lakh people and killed more than 3,300 people in India so far.

Published on May 20, 2020

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