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Domestic Flights To Resume From May 25, Here's What Flyers Need To Know

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The Government of India has decided to permit domestic flights to operate from May 25, while announcing that these flights will resume operations in a calibrated manner.

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The Government of India has decided to permit domestic flights to operate from May 25, while announcing that these flights will resume operations in a calibrated manner. The Centre's decision is an attempt to get the Indian economy back on rails after it has been badly set back by the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Union Minister For Civil Aviation, Hardeep Singh Puri, took to Twitter on Wednesday, to confirm that "domestic civil aviation operations will recommence in a calibrated manner from Monday 25th May 2020." His post further said that "all airports and air carriers are being informed to be ready for operations from 25th May." The Minister added that Standard Operating Protocols (SOPs) "for passenger movement are also being separately issued by Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India."

The government has spelt out detailed SOPs for resuming flight services, media reports point out. Among these are guidelines which state there would be not be catering for a flight duration of under two hours.

The domestic flights, once they become operational, will have to operate in a limited capacity. These flights will be operating to the major cities initially. It is likely that only healthy people will be allowed to travel, as per the SOPs.

Among other guidelines, according to media reports are:

• There would be no catering in flights with a travel time of less than two hours, but snacks are likely to be served

• Only healthy people will be permitted on board

• Use of protective gear like masks and hand gloves will be mandatory

• Cabin baggage will not be allowed

• Only web check-in to be permitted

• There will be no use of common areas such as smoking zones and prayer rooms

• Aarogya Setu App on phone to be mandatory

• A self-declaration form will be handed out to passengers to state their COVID-19 history if any, and if they were quarantined

• Suspect cases of COVID-19 will be seated at the back of the aircraft.

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