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New rules for airlines as India looks to resume domestic flights

The Aviation Minister of India tweeted that India has decided to resume domestic flights from May 25. This decision was a bolt from the blue for most of the country’s aviation companies. Most of the airlines in India sales of tickets have been suspended until and will resume no longer than the 1st of June. This decision has left the world puzzled with the fact that India is the nation where the number of cases is spreading at a fast rate.

According to airline officials, the short notice which was issued while the airlines were waiting for a decision, makes it harder for them to prepare for operations, deploy staff, arrange for protective gear, and ensure the virus stays away from flight.

Arun Kumar, the head of the DGCA, said that the technical teams of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, the industry regulator, will meet airlines today to finalize a curtailed schedule as quickly as possible before tickets go on sale.

Airline companies all across the globe have been largely affected and struggled in their business, due to national lockdowns commenced in almost every country in the world so as to curb and contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus. The ban on local flights – which came into effect on March 25, just days after a ban international operations – prompted industry analysts at CAPA Centre for Aviation to speculate that struggling airlines would have to sell shares to stay alive.

India’s airlines, including InterGlobe Aviation Ltd.’s IndiGo, Asia’s biggest budget carrier by market value, SpiceJet Ltd., Singapore Airlines Ltd.’s affiliate Vistara and AirAsia Group Bhd., have 650 planes between them in their fleet. The country is one of the biggest market for Airbus SE and Boeing Co.

In line with government guidelines, airports have drawn up elaborate plans to manintain security and ensure preventive measures against the spread of coronavirus.

Here are some of the basic rules the airports are planning to implement next week:

Rule 1: Passengers will have to reach the airport before the scheduled time of departure and the passengers and the passengers who have departure in next four hours will only be allowed to enter the terminal building.

Rule 2: All passengers will have to wear protective gears like masks, gloves etc.

Rule 3: ‘Aarogya Setu’ app will be compulsory for all passengers and it will be verified by CISF/Airport Staff at the entry gate.

Rule 4: You won’t be able to use trolleys at departure and arrival area without a compelling genuine reason.

Rule 5: All F&B and retail will be opened at the airports but take away will be encouraged.

Rule 6: Thermal screening of all passengers will be mandatory before the terminal building.

Rule 7: Luggage of passengers will be sanitised before entering the terminal building. There will be mats/ carpets soaked with bleach for disinfected shoes.

Rule 8: There will be more Check-in counters operational so that there is no crowding, hence airlines will have to deploy more staff.

Rule 9: Newspapers/magazines will not be provided in the terminal buildings and lounges.

Rule 10: Hand sanitisers will be provided by airport operators for passengers and airport staff at various locations.

– Christo Freddy, NMTV News


NMTV was launched in the year 1999, and is Maharashtra only accredited 24-hour, 7-day-a-week local cable news station of Navi Mumbai airing news bulletins and programs in English, Hindi and Marathi. NMTV represents the state-of-the-art in local television news coverage, delivering on a commitment of responsible and community-oriented journalism on an around-the-clock basis.

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