Mumbai: Airlines, travel operators and industry body FICCI welcomed Wednesday the government’s decision to restore domestic passenger flight services. The flight services will be resumed in a phased manner from May 25. They said it will help in boosting the overall economic condition of the country. It will also help a large number of passengers.
Budget carrier IndiGo said in line with the government’s decision, it will recommence operations from May 25 in a gradual manner.
Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, in a surprise announcement through Twitter , said domestic flight operations will recommence from May 25 in a calibrated manner. All airports and air carriers are being informed to be ready for operations.
Standard operating procedures (SOPs) for passenger movement are also being separately issued by the Civil Aviation Ministry, he added.
“We welcome the government’s decision to recommence domestic civil aviation operations from May 25. This will go a long way in lifting the overall economic sentiment in the country,” SpiceJet chairman Ajay Singh said in a statement.
“While the SOP for resumption of operations and details of flights to be operated is still awaited, we are sure that this much awaited move will help a large number of passengers by providing them access to the safest and quickest means of transport,” Singh added.
SpiceJet is all geared up to resume operations post lockdown. Singh said it ‘will strictly adhere to social distancing norms and SOPs laid down by the Government to ensure the best, the cleanest and the most sanitised flying experience’.
IndiGo said it will resume operations while ensuring full compliance with government guidelines. “As per government announcement made today (Wednesday), we will be resuming flight operations from Monday, May 25 in a phased manner. We are fully prepared with safety measures with respect to COVID-19 across all our passenger and cargo interfaces during their journey with us,” IndiGo said in a statement.
The airline also said it will share further details and guidelines for passengers, in line with the advisory from the authorities, over the next few days.
Other bodies also welcomed the decision.
“The aviation sector is a major driver of economic growth for India and the resumption of flights adhering to all health and safety rules will help the industry begin the process of recovery from the massive blow dealt by the coronavirus pandemic,” Anand Stanley, chairperson, Aviation Committee, FICCI said.
“Reopening domestic flights will give a big boost to our economy and kickstart the recovery of the travel industry which was the most affected during the lockdown,” said Aloke Bajpai, CEO and co-founder, ‘ixigo’.
Stating that the industry was looking forward for the detailed SOPs and guidelines, Bajpai said the industry now needs to collaborate and focus on all the confidence building measures that will reassure travellers to get back on a plane.