New Delhi: The Indian government, on 20 May, announced it will allow the resumption of domestic passenger flight operations, which had been suspended nearly two months ago in view of the nationwide lockdown, in a calibrated manner from 25 May.
The minister of civil aviation, Hardeep Singh Puri, in a tweet, said: "Domestic civil aviation operations will recommence in a calibrated manner from Monday, 25th May 2020. All airports & air carriers are being informed to be ready for operations from 25th May (sic)." He also said that special operating procedures (SOPs) for passenger movement are being separately issued.
The development comes a day after Mr Puri had said that it is not only up to the Central government to decide on the resumption of domestic flights, as states will also have to be ready to allow civil aviation operations.
"It is not up to @MoCA_GoI or centre alone to decide on resuming domestic flights. In the spirit of cooperative federalism, the govt of states where these flights will take off & land should be ready to allow civil aviation operations," Mr Puri had tweeted on Tuesday.
On Sunday, following the ministry of Home Affairs' (MHA) decision to extend the lockdown till 31 May, the directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA) had said it will suitably inform the airlines about flight resumption in due course.
In its guidelines for lockdown 4.0, the MHA had said that all domestic and international air travel will be prohibited, except for domestic medical services, domestic air ambulance, and for security purposes.
Airlines have already started to accept ticket bookings for the travel period starting 1 June. Airline executives said they will now swiftly load new ticket bookings itineraries representing the new schedule from 25 May on online platforms.