Regulatory body Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has cut short the prohibition on operations of chartered flights to May 25. It was initially ordered that all domestic flights including non-scheduled flights would not be operative till May 31. Following the Ministry of Civil Aviation's order allowing flights to operate ahead of the lifting of the lockdown, DGCA has allowed chartered flights to operate as well.
On Wednesday Minister for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri stated that domestic passenger flights will be operational from May 25. He added that initially, only a few flights would operate. Frequency of flights would be increased in the coming days.
Domestic flights were operative only for essential services and rescue operations. Passenger flights have been inoperative for two months. The DGCA has also capped fares on passenger flights in order to keep flight tickets affordable.
The aviation ministry has further issued a set of guidelines for passengers in order to ensure social distancing. Passengers have been asked to check-in online and no over-the-counter check-in would be allowed. They would also have to go through thermal screening and wear appropriate protective gear such as gloves and masks in order to fly. Puri, however, said in a press conference that the middle seat in flights would not be kept empty.
There would be abundant hand sanitisers provided inside the airport terminals. However, newspapers and magazines would not be provided in the terminals and lounges. Markings would be made near the conveyor belts to ensure social distancing.
As for the flights, no meals would be served and the flight crew would wear full PPEs. Only one cabin baggage will be allowed.