International flights may resume before August, hints Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri
New Delhi/IBNS: Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Saturday hinted at the resumption of international flights before August depending on the behaviour of the pandemic Covid-19, media reports said.
"Why wait till August or September? If situation eases or improves, if virus behaves in predictable manner and we get used to co-exist(ing) with it, we're in position to make arrangements. Why not start by June middle or end July?" Puri said.
The minister also said the government was working towards restarting "good percentage" of passenger flights which was grounded for more than two months due to the anti-Covid lockdown.
India, the country of 1.3 billion people, has been under lockdown since Mar 24 midnight to stem the spread of the pandemic virus which is yet to have a cure or vaccine.
The lockdown was extended thrice and now the restrictions are due to expire on Jun 1.
Meanwhile, airlines will resume one-third of domestic flights from Monday and will gradually scale up the operations after being halted for about two months due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Announcing the new rules, Puri had said, "Flight durations have been divided in 7 categories - 0-30 minutes, 30-60 minutes, 60-90 minutes, 90-120 minutes, 120-150 minutes, 150-180 minutes, and 180-210 minutes.... For example, the minimum fare for a Delhi-Mumbai flight will be Rs.3,500 and the maximum fare will be Rs 10,000. This will be applicable for three months."
He also informed that after the domestic flights' services are eased, the issue of international ones will be addressed by the ministry.
The minister also said that 40 per cent of the seats on a flight must be priced less than 50 per cent of the price band.