NEW DELHI: India will try to restart a good percentage of international passenger flights before August, civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Saturday.
Three days after announcing resumption of domestic flights from May 25.
After a two-month hiatus, one-third of the scheduled domestic flights would be flying from Monday.
After the airlines adhere to the government-prescribed limits on airfares categorised in seven bands based on flight duration, even as the Civil Aviation Minister indicated that the ministry was not in favour of quarantining passengers on short-haul flights.
Unveiling a set of detailed pre-flight, in-flight and post-flight guidelines on Thursday, the civil aviation ministry advised people vulnerable like the elderly, pregnant women and passengers battling health issues to avoid air travel till the coronavirus pandemic abates.
However, the government has issued several guidelines which passengers and airport staff will have to follow at airports and during flights.
All scheduled commercial passenger flights have been suspended in India since March 25 when the Modi government imposed a lockdown to contain the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Noting that all stakeholders such as airlines, airports have cooperated, Puri said,”operations will start on 1/3 of the approved Summer schedule for domestic routes in a calibrated manner from 25 May 2020 and will be scaled up gradually. After domestic travel has been eased, we will address the issue of international travel depending on the evolving situation.”
“I can’t put a date on it (restarting international flights). But if somebody says can it be done by August or September, my response is why not earlier depending on what is the situation,” he said.