Air India may partially resume its operations by mid-May, news agency ANI has reported. According to the news agency, it has accessed an internal letter asking pilots and cabin crew to prepare to resume operations once lockdown ends. As per ANI, the mail has been sent to the operation staff seeking the availibility of crew including transport security passes for both international and domestic operations.
The letter said, "Dear all concerned, there is a probability to commence 25 per cent to 30 per cent operations post-lockdown in mid-May 2020. You are requested to ensure and provide the following: Total number of cockpit/cabin crew residing outside municipal limits of the bases." The Airline has also asked senior officer to arrange for the curfew passses for the crew.
Flight restrictions to be lifted once spread of COVID-19 controlled: Hardeep Puri
Earlier, Union Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri informed airlines that some of them did not pay heed to the ministry's advisory and opened bookings, started collecting money from flyers, therefore, a directive was issued to them restraining from doing so on April 19. Puri reiterated flight restrictions that are in place as a result of India's fight against COVID19 will be lifted once they are confident that the spread of the virus has been controlled and it poses no danger to the country and people.
The Aviation Minister said that airlines were informed that they will be given sufficient notice and time to commence bookings. He added the government's views and approach on restarting flights have been clearly stated. Puri further mentioned that on April 2, he said "A decision to restart flights after this period remains to be taken" and reiterated this on April 5. On14th when lockdown extended, I said "we can consider lifting restrictions" after Lockdown.