The civil aviation minister announced a gradual resumption of domestic flights starting from May 25, following the easing of restrictions on interstate travel in the fourth phase of nationwide lockdown. Flying, however, will not be the same while the fight against coronavirus continues. Below is a list of possible changes to domestic flights that may come into force once the new flying protocol is notified by the civil aviation ministry.
- Physical distancing measures and screening are likely to be followed at the airports. Wearing of masks and maintenance of at least four-feet physical distance from co-passengers is likely to be enforced.
- Passengers must wash or sanitise their hands frequently. The bureau of civil aviation has already issued guidelines for the enhancement of admissible limit of hand sanitisers to be carried in cabin baggage.
- It is likely to follow a system of contact-less check-in, including web check-in
- The boarding pass stamping may be suspended to reduce contact between passengers and security staff.
- In the draft standard operating procedures (SOPs) proposed by the Ministry of Civil Aviation for passengers, airlines, and airport operators, it was suggested that cabin luggage should be barred.
- SOPs also proposed suspending passenger ID checks to reduce crowding at the terminal gates.
- Inside the aircraft, the middle seats may not be left vacant as was mooted earlier, as they can lead to an unreasonable escalation in the cost of tickets.
- The authorities said that the government may introduce a cap on airfares to protect the consumers as a temporary measure, officials said.
- Domestic flights will likely to resume operations to major-tier cities initially.
- Senior citizens aged above 80 years may not be given the nod for air travel yet.
- Passengers may have to be quarantined according to state government protocols.
- Travelers can be advised to download the Aarogya Setu app on mobile phones
- The government is likely to issue guidelines to facilitate passenger traffic to the airport from various regions, including containment areas.
Source: HindustanTimesAlso Read: KKR Caps Jio Deal, Its Biggest Asian Transaction, in 10 Days