International flights may start before August, domestic flights can be increased, says Indian Aviation Minister

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New Delhi, May 23, 2020: Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri today live on his official Facebook page. During this, he answered the questions of the people. In response to a question, he said that before August-September we can start international flights services. However, the situation of Coronavirus outbreak will be assessed before starting the flight. Airport authorities and airlines are all set to start international flight services.

Earlier he said that till now 25465 Indians have been brought back through Vande Bharat Mission. By the end of May this figure will be closer to 50,000. During the lockdown, 8000 people were transported abroad from India. More people wanted to go abroad than this, but there are many countries which are currently taking their citizens. According to Puri, do not assume that travelers whose health status is showing green status on the Setu App, they do not need to be quarantined.

33% of flights will start from May 25, good booking done: Puri said that 33% of domestic flights are starting from May 25. According to the figures which have just arrived, many people have taken tickets on the first day of booking. Flight service is in great demand. The lifeline flight was launched by the ministry amid the lockdown. Through this, one thousand tons of medical equipment and other essential services were supplied all over the country.

Number of domestic flights can be increased, if demand is more: The Union Minister said that the detailed standard operating procedure (SOP) has been issued for the domestic flight. One has to arrive at the airport two hours in advance and wear a mask. Everyone has to follow social distancing. Self declaration has to be given that they do not have any symptom, only then a boarding pass will be given. He said that if the demand is good and the coordination with the states is good then the number of domestic flights will be increased soon.

Refund question averted : A large number of people asked questions about the flights canceled due to the lockdown. When people asked questions about airline companies are not giving refund for cancelled flights, Puri said that guidelines have already been issued for refunds. Everyone has been asked to refund the full fare of the flights canceled due to the lockdown to the passengers. This is a commercial matter. Only the airlines companies will look into it.

Announced to start domestic flights on 20 May : Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had tweeted on May 20 that domestic flights will start from May 25. Detailed guidelines for this were also released on 21 May. 8 airlines have been approved for this. Since Friday, many companies have started the process of booking online air tickets.

Puri answered public’s questions: India is the first country in the world that first banned flights from China. Everyone knows the reason for this. Due to the Corona crisis, 15 lakh 28 thousand people coming from other countries were screened at 30 airports in the country.

Food will not be available on domestic flights. Yes, water will be available.

OCI card holders will also be able to visit India through the Vande Bharat Mission.

Not everyone needs a corona test. Tests may not be mandatory for all passengers.

We are ready to run more flights. It is possible if the state governments allow it.”