28 Aug 2020: Refusal to wear masks will get you on 'no-fly' list
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) announced that passengers who refuse to wear masks on flights would be put on a no-fly list.
The declaration comes as India struggles to battle the coronavirus crisis, with the number of cases reaching 3,395,796, and the number of deaths crossed 61,000.
Just yesterday, India reported over 77,000 new COVID-19 cases, its biggest surge so far.
Details: Period for suspension would depend on cabin crew's assessment
Speaking to Hindustan Times, DGCA Director-General Arun Kumar said that the time period for which an individual can be suspended from flying will depend on the assessment of the cabin crew of the concerned aircraft.
He also added, that no such case has been reported so far.
Another anonymous official told the daily that the cabin crew would take the final call.
Fact: Willful disobedience by passenger will put them on no-fly list
"There will be exceptions such as if a passenger takes off the mask to eat or drink or due to any other issue. Passengers, who refuse to wear masks willingly, will invite strict actions like being put on the no-fly list," the official added.
SoPs: When flights resumed, certain SoPs were announced
India resumed domestic flight operations on May 25, two months after a strict lockdown was imposed, with certain Standard operation procedures (SoP).
The Centre made thermal screening mandatory, asked airports to maintain control rooms with paramedics, and adhere to social distancing.
Recently, the government re-allowed airlines to serve food and beverage, but only in disposable containers. Disposable earphones should be used for entertainment.
Statement: Flight traffic will be back to normal by Diwali: Puri
A few days ago, India's Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri commented that by Diwali (November 14), the bulk of India's pre-COVID-19 domestic air traffic could be restored.
He had also spoken about increasing operations in cities like Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru, which currently have some restrictions, in wake of the pandemic.
He said resuming operations quickly might save financially-strained airlines.
Air bubbles: Notably, India also has 'air bubble arrangements' with few countries
India has 'air bubble' arrangements with around 18 countries which include the US, UK, France, and Canada. Air bubbles flights are conducted between two or more nations as a temporary arrangement when normal flights are suspended owing to circumstances.
Since May, these air bubbles have helped in flying in numerous Indians stranded in other countries, under the Vande Bharat Mission.
Fact: Hardeep Singh Puri tweeted about Vande Bharat Mission