After much suspense, the domestic flight operations have been resumed in Maharashtra on Monday. The operator of the Mumbai international airport said on Sunday it would resume commercial passenger services on domestic routes from May 25. The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) said it would be resuming operations with 25 departures and 25 arrivals from Monday.
The first flight departed from Mumbai airport to Patna at 6:45 AM today. The first arrival flight to Mumbai departed from Lucknow at 8:20 AM. Both flights will be operated by IndiGo.
The initiative to resume services came after the Ministry of Civil Aviation directive and subsequent permission from the Maharashtra government.
On Sunday, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said, "Starting tomorrow, there will be limited flights from Mumbai and as per approved one-third schedule from other airports in the state."
Earlier, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh showed apprehension in resuming flight operation in the state. He said it was ill-advised to reopen airports in red zone. "Impossible to have autos/cabs/buses ply in current circumstances. Adding positive passenger will add COVID stress to red zone," Deshmukh said in a tweet.
However, the CSMIA assured they would adhere to all the new guidelines issued by the civil aviation ministry. The airport operator said it had undertaken various steps and put in place standard operating procedures for the safety of its passengers.
The Mumbai International Airport (CSMIA) urged the passengers above the age of 14 to mandatorily download the Aarogya Setu app for safe travel. Furthermore, the CSMIA also advised passengers above 80 years as well as expectant mothers and passengers with health issues to restrict travelling.
Arriving passengers will be temperature-screened by the Maharashtra government and are expected to be in-home quarantine for 14 days. It said it would continue to undertake several precautionary measures, including screening of departing passengers, maintaining 2-metre of social distancing, and wearing of masks.