Union Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Thursday addressed a presser on new air travel guidelines ahead of the resumption of domestic flight services from May 25 onwards. The Aviation Minister spoke on air travel fare which will have minimum-maximum limit. He also talked about whether full services of flights will be resumed and on social distancing norms for passengers, cabin-crew among other issues. The aviation minister also mentioned about the Vande Bharat Mission that was undertaken by the ministry to bring back stranded Indians in various countries who were seeking to return amid coronavirus lockdown across nations that led to temporarily suspension of flight operations in India.
Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri presser on new air travel guidelines | Key takeaways
- Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on air fares said the ministry will prescribe lower and upper limit on fares and airlines will have to adhere to it during the period of COVID-19 pandemic.
- We've set a minimum and a maximum fare. In the case of Delhi, Mumbai the minimum fare would be Rs 3,500 for a journey between 90-120 minutes, maximum fare would be Rs 10,000. This is operative for 3 months - till one minute to midnight on 24th August, Hardeep Singh Puri said.
- Also 40% of seats have to be sold at a fare less than the midpoint of the band. For example, midpoint of Rs 3,500 & Rs 10,000 is Rs 6,700. So 40% of the seats have to be sold at a price less than Rs 6,700. This is how we're ensuring that fares don't go out of control, Civil Aviation Secretary informed.
- Flight routes have been classified into 7 parts. 1) Flight time less than 40 minutes. 2) 40 - 60 minutes. 3) 60 - 90 minutes. 4) 90 - 120 minutes. 5) 120 - 150 minutes. 6) 150 - 180 minutes. 7) 180 - 210 minutes. All routes within the country will fall within these 7 slots, Aviation Ministry said.
- Speaking on following social distancing norms, Hardeep Singh Puri said that the ministry has decided not to keep the middle seat vacant in the flights.
- Initially, domestic flight operations in the country will limit to only 1/3rd of its capacity. For operation from Metro to Metro cities 1/3rd capacity of approved summer schedule 2020, which is more than 33.33%. For operation from Metro to Non-metro cities and vice-versa, where weekly departures are greater than 100, 1/3rd capacity of approved summer schedule 2020.
- A self-declaration or Aarogya Setu App status on a compatible device would be obtained to ensure that a passenger is free of COVID-19 symptoms. Passenger with red status on Aarogya Setu App will not be allowed to travel.
- Once the COVID crisis is over, our mission is to take India's aviation market gradually to number one in the world.
- When we announced Vande Bharat Mission on 5th May, we met virtually. The very fact that we are meeting on May 21 physically, it is a reflection of the fact that we have gained more confidence in the normalisation of the situation and resumption, Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said.
- During Vande Bharat Mission, our effort was not to bring back everyone who wanted to come back. The clear emphasis was on evacuating our citizens who were genuinely stranded abroad, he said.
- Hardeep Singh Puri said, "We have brought back more than 20,000 of our citizens from various destinations. We have at same time utilised outgoing aircrafts to carry our citizens who are normally resident abroad&needed to travel because of jobs and other professional commitments."
- In Week 2 of Vande Bharat Mission, we ramped up numbers, made it more than double. We are planning to further increase the number of people to be brought back. Besides Air India, private carriers too are joining in the effort, Aviation Minister said.
The Airport Authority of India (AAI) had earlier today announced new guidelines ahead of resumption of domestic flights from May 25 (Monday) onwards.
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