Domestic flights to resume after lockdown, doubt on global ones
The Civil Aviation Ministry on Thursday said domestic flight resumption is expected after the 21-day nationwide lockdown is over on April 14 while permission to restart international flights will be given on a case to case basis only after assessing the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.
Responding to a question from reporters at a virtual Press conference, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Thursday said, “There is a lockdown till mid-April. After that, flights from any country will be allowed to come to India only after a security assessment is made.”
Regarding resumption of domestic flights, Puri said he is optimistic that the lockdown would not be extended.
Puri also said Indians who are stranded in several foreign countries will have to wait till April 15 to return to India, suggesting that flights taking foreign nationals to their countries from India will not bring back any passengers. India has allowed countries like the US, the UK and Germany to conduct special flights during the lockdown to take their citizens back home. Air India has also extended its services to countries such as Germany, the UK and France to facilitate return of their citizens.
International flights to India were banned from March 23 and domestic flights were also suspended from March 25 after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day lockdown for India until April 14. As per a DGCA order, the Government had barred all scheduled international passenger aircraft to depart for India after 5.30 am of March 22 and had given them travel time of 20 hours.
Terming the situation arising due to the spread of novel coronavirus as “unprecedented,” Puri said the airlines and airports are working in innovative ways whether it is about handling thousands of passengers at airports before lockdown or transporting cargo material during lockdown.
Friday, 03 April 2020 | PNS | New Delhi
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