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Photo: Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint
Photo: Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint

Govt mulling domestic flight restart procedures, asks airlines for inputs

Online travel agents have been told by airlines to prepare for bookings after May 18, according to two travel industry executives who did not want to be identified

India's civil aviation ministry said on Tuesday that it is yet to take a decision on standard operating procedures for restarting flights and have asked airlines for their inputs.

Domestic airlines have been pressing the government for resumption of flights soon.

Online travel agents have been told by airlines to prepare for bookings after May 18, according to two travel industry executives who did not want to be identified.

While the government has been leaning in favour of restarting flights, it is in favour of a calibrated reopening from airports in green and orange zones.

Indian government has grounded flight operations since 25 March to contain the spread of covid-19 pandemic. However, airline operations are expected to resume soon.

However airlines are keen to start operations from key metros like Mumbai and Delhi that contribute a bulk of revenues. These places lie in red zone of infections.

Over four million people world wide have been tested positive for covid-19 infection, which has claimed over 286,000 lives, according to data from John Hopkins University Covid tracker.

According to the Indian government the country currently has over 46,000 active covid-19 positive cases while The infection has claimed 2293 lives.

"There are reports in the media regarding the SOP issued by MoCA for restarting of aviation post lockdown. It is clarified that suggestions were sought on a draft discussion paper from airlines & airports. The suggestions have now been received.The final SOP is yet to be issued ," a ministry of civil aviation spokesperson said adding that the government is yet to decide when to restart airline operations.

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