Shortly after Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri announced that India will resume domestic flights from May 25, domestic carriers IndiGo and SpiceJet said that they are fully prepared with safety measures to get back to work.
Gurgaon-headquartered IndiGo, India's largest airline by passengers carried and fleet size, said that it will be resuming flight operations from May 25, 2020 in a "phased manner".
"We are fully prepared with safety measures with respect to COVID-19 across all our passenger and cargo interfaces during their journey with us. We will share further details and guidelines for passengers, in line with the advisory from the authorities over the next few days," IndiGo said in a press statement.
Welcoming the government's decision to resume flight operations, the carrier said, "We are excited to be back in operations, connecting our customers to people and places they love."
Domestic carrier SpiceJet also lauded the government's decision to recommence domestic civil aviation operations from May 25. Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, SpiceJet said, "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 quickest means of transport."
"SpiceJet is all geared up to resume operations post lockdown and is committed to providing the highest level of cleanliness and a safe, secure and healthy flying experience to its passengers and staff. We will strictly adhere to social distancing norms and SOPs laid down by the government to ensure the best, the cleanest and the most sanitised flying experience," he added.
All commercial passenger flights in India were suspended on March 25, when the nationwide lockdown was first imposed to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.
On Wednesday evening, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that domestic flights will resume from May 25 "in a calibrated manner".
"Domestic civil aviation operations will recommence in a calibrated manner from Monday 25th May 2020. All airports and air carriers are being informed to be ready for operations from 25th May," Puri tweeted.
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for passenger movement will be separately issued by the aviation ministry, he said.
Earlier on May 17, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had announced that all domestic and international flights will be suspended till May 31 midnight in wake of the extended lockdown in India. This announcement was made after the central government extended the nationwide lockdown by two more weeks till May 31 to prevent the spread of coronavirus.