To fly or not to fly, Maharashtra yet to decide

Maharashtra government is yet to decide if it would allow flight operations to resume in the state from Monday as a strict lockdown continues till 31 May.

As covid-19 cases continue to rise unabated in the Maharashtra, government officials said that state government is still deliberating if flight operations should be allowed to resume.

“The situation is fluid at present and will be decided in due course,” said an official.

The government has however, communicated its views to Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) that till such time MIAL plans and fine tunes airport operations, they should initiate minimum possible domestic flights from Maharashtra from May 25th which are purely emergent in nature like for international transfer passengers from these cities, medical emergencies, students, and cases on compassionate grounds only.

Union Minister for Civil Aviation Hardeep Puri had on Thursday announced India’s airlines will resume operations from Monday, including at coronavirus hotspots of Delhi and Mumbai, which host the country’s busiest airports.

The aviation ministry issued detailed guidelines for passengers, airlines, airport operators and other agencies that would transform the flying experience as the focus will now be on ensuring physical distance between passengers and minimizing contagion through contact and through frequently touched surfaces.

There will be no in-flight meal services for passengers who will be required to wear a face mask and reach the airport at least two hours prior to departure. Only those with a green status on Aarogya Setu app will be allowed to board.

The resumption of flights will help ease the financial burden on airlines who had to bear high fixed costs amid nearly zero revenues during the lockdown.

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