The Government of India is in discussion with airlines to start scheduled commercial flight services sooner than expected, even as early as before the third phase of COVID-19 lockdown gets over on 17th May. We have learned through source that states are objecting on mandatory 14-day quarantine for all travelers, which might very well be the reason for delay in restarting domestic flight services.
Having said that, the government has issued a draft laying down a detailed SOP for resuming the flight services. The SOPs, while not finalized, reveal the future of air travel, at least till the time a cure is devised for coronavirus.
The flights, once operational, will have to operate in a limited capacity and will connect major cities. Keeping in mind the safety of the passengers and the staff involved in the functioning of a flight, SOPs will be placed and only healthy people will be allowed to travel.
Here's a complete list of the SOPs laid by the government in the draft before resuming the flight services in a staggered manner -
- No inflight catering for flights with travel duration less than two hours
- Some snacks items will be served
- Only healthy people will be allowed to travel
- No cabin baggage is allowed
- Only web-checkin allowed
- No use of common area like smoking and prayer rooms
- Mandatory to have Aarogya Setu App on phone
- Mandatory to wear protective gear like mask and hand gloves
- Passengers will fill a form declaring their COVID-19 history, if they were quarantined
- Separate seats at the back for suspected persons
- People above 80 years age will not be allowed to travel