Domestic flights to resume operations from May 25, guidelines to follow
In further relaxation of lockdown rules, domestic flights will begin operations from May 25 in a calibrated manner. Currently, only cargo and evacuation flight services are allowed. The nationwide lockdown to halt the spread of coronavirus is in place till May 31. However, certain relaxations have been allowed. All airports and air carriers are being informed to be ready for operations from next week, tweeted civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri. The standard operating procedures for passenger movement will be separately issued by the ministry, said the minister. Just yesterday, Puri said the Centre alone cannot unilaterally decide on resuming passenger flights unless state governments allow these services “in the spirit of cooperative federalism”. Passenger flights have been suspended in the country since March 25, when the first phase of lockdown was imposed. Last month, the DGCA directed airlines to refrain from resuming online ticket bookings after Puri told them to restart the process only after a decision is taken to end the bar on domestic and international flight operations. There is, however, no word yet on the resumption of international flights.