Domestic air travel resumed in India after a hiatus of two months on Monday, 25 May, due to the lockdown to curb coronavirus spread.
Flight travel, as you know it, will change during coronavirus lockdown with thermal screening, cap on cabin baggage and airlines no longer providing in-flight meal services.
Here’s all you need to know about the new SOPs of air travel within India.
What are some basic change in rules that I should know about?
- It is mandatory for all passengers have to wear masks and gloves in the airport, and during air travel
- All passengers are required to carry sanitizers
- Only those passengers with confirmed web check-in will be allowed to enter the airport
- Passengers will be thermal screened and only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to board the flight
- Airlines will not provide meal services in flights
What about physical check-in counters in the airport?
No physical check-in at airports will be done. The counters will be closed and only those with web check-in will be allowed to enter the airport.
What will happen if I don’t have Aarogya Setu, but have a valid ticket?
If you do not have the government contact tracing app, you will need to provide a self-declaration form. There is no clarity whether Aarogya Setu app is mandatory or not, although the written order says it is.
Do we know to which destinations the flights will operate?
Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that initially the flights will be operated in a calibrated manner.
For operations from metro to metro, 1/3rd of the approved number of flights in the summer schedule for 2020.
For flights from metro to non-metro cities, where departure is more than 100 trips, again 1/3rd of the approved summer schedule.
By metro cities, the government means: Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata.
Is there a price cap on airline ticket?
Yes. According to the Aviation Ministry, airlines are directed to adhere to lower and upper limit fares prescribed by the government for the COVID-19 pandemic period.
For example, for the densest route Delhi – Mumbai, the lower band is 3,500 and the upper limit is Rs 10,000.
Who can travel? Who cannot?
Vulnerable persons such as elderly, pregnant women, those with health issues are advised to avoid air travel.
How many hours prior to my flight should I reach the airport?
- Passengers should reach the airport two hours before departure
- Only those whose flights are within four hours of departure will be allowed entry into the terminal
Are personal vehicles allowed inside airport premises? How do I get to the airport if not?
Personal vehicles are allowed inside airport premises. However, only select cabs allowed to take passengers and staff to the airport or from it. The Centre has said that state governments and administrations must ensure public transport and private taxis for passengers and airline crew.
Is there a limit on the number of bags/suitcases I can carry for domestic travel, according to new guidelines?
Only one check-in bag will be allowed and there has been no guideline on check-in luggage. However, trolleys will not be allowed in both departure and arrival terminals, except for special cases. These trollies will be disinfected once the baggage is off-loaded.
When will international air travel resume?
The government has not indicated when international air travel will resume. Watch this space for more information.