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Domestic flights resume from May 25 in India, only 1 check-in bag allowed, no meals in flight

The shortage pushed up airfares, allowing Air India to make a windfall. Photo: Nikkei Asian Review. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

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NEW DELHI, May 21, 2020, India Today. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) on Thursday issued guidelines for airports as domestic passenger flight services resume from Monday. As per the standard operating procedure (SOP) to airport operators, Aarogya Setu app will not be mandatory for children below 14 years of age, India Today reported.

As per the new rules, passengers will have to reach the airport two hours in advance for compulsory thermal screening of passengers before they enter the terminal. “Passengers shall compulsorily walk through screening zone for thermal screening at a designated place in the city side before entering the terminal building,” the AAI said.

Airport operators must make appropriate arrangements for sanitisation of a passenger’s baggage before his or her entry into the terminal building, said the SOP dated May 20.

Highlights of the SOP that has to be followed by airport operators for resumption of domestic flights:

  • Passengers will have to reach airport two hours in advance of flight time
  • Passengers should wear masks and gloves
  • Only those whose flight is in the next four hours will be allowed to enter terminal building
  • Passengers to undergo thermal screening before entering terminal building
  • Those that don’t show ‘green’ on Aarogya Setu will not be allowed to enter airport
  • Trolley use to be avoided. Will be available to a select few passengers on request basis
  • Sanitisation of baggage before entry into terminal
  • Mats soaked in bleach to be placed at entry for disinfection of shoes
  • At passenger touchpoints, staff to either wear face shields behind counter or put glass wall at counter
  • Constant announcements about social distancing and other norms
  • Boarding and deplaning in batches to maintain social distance
  • All airport staff to wear PPEs and hand sanitisers for staff and passenger

The AAI manages more than 100 airports across the country. However, major airports like Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad are managed by private companies.

Two months after the government of India imposed a nationwide lockdown due to coronavirus, domestic flight operations are set to resume again. Union Minister for Civil Aviation Hardeep Puri on Wednesday announced that India will start domestic flight operations in a “calibrated manner” from May 25.

Earlier this month, in a communication to airport managers across the country, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) had asked all airports to be prepared to handle flight operations.

The Ministry of Civial Aviation today said passengers will be allowed to carry only one check-in bag when domestic flights resume operations from next week. Besides this, airlines will not be providing meals in flights, the ministry said.

It said, only passengers who have confirmed web check-in can enter airport and no physical check-in will take place at airport counters. Airlines will not provide meal services in flights, Press Trust of India reported.

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