Coronavirus: Ficci suggests more virus testing, economic measures and phase-wise lockdown relaxation
Airlines, travel operators and industry body FICCI on Wednesday welcomed the government's decision to restore domestic passenger flight services in a phased manner from May 25, saying it will help in boosting the overall economic sentiment besides helping a large number of passengers.
Budget carrier IndiGo said in line with the government's decision, it will recommence operations from May 25 in a gradual manner.
Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, in a surprise announcement through Twitteron Wednesday, said domestic flight operations will recommence from May 25 in a calibrated manner and all airports and air carriers are being informed to be ready for operations.
Standard operating procedures (SOPs) for passenger movement are also being separately issued by the civil aviation ministry, he added.
Interestingly, the minister announced the decision a day after asserting that the Centre alone cannot take a call on resuming passenger flights and state governments should be ready to allow these services in the spirit of cooperative federalism.
"We welcome the government's decision to recommence domestic civil aviation operations from May 25. This will go a long way in lifting the overall economic sentiment in the country," SpiceJet Chairman Ajay Singh said in a statement.
"While the SOP for resumption of operations and details of flights to be operated is still awaited, we are sure that this much awaited move will help a large number of passengers by providing them access to the safest and quickest means of transport," he added.
SpiceJet is all geared up to resume operations post lockdown, Singh said, adding it "will strictly adhere to social distancing norms and SOPs laid down by the Government to ensure the best, the cleanest and the most sanitised flying experience."
IndiGo, the country's largest airline by market share, said it will resume operations while ensuring full compliance with government guidelines.
"As per the government announcement made today, we will be resuming flight operations from Monday, May 25 in a phased manner. We are fully prepared with safety measures with respect to COVID-19 across all our passenger and cargo interfaces during their journey with us," it said in a statement.
The airline also said it will share further details and guidelines for passengers, in line with the advisory from the authorities, over the next few days.
"The aviation sector is a major driver of economic growth for India and the resumption of flights adhering to all health and safety rules will help the industry begin the process of recovery from the massive blow dealt by the coronavirus pandemic," Anand Stanley, chairperson, Aviation Committee, FICCI and president and managing Director, Airbus India and South Asia, said in a tweet.
"Reopening domestic flights will give a big boost to our economy and kickstart the recovery of the travel industry which was the most affected during the lockdown," said Aloke Bajpai, CEO and co-founder, ixigo.
Stating that the industry was looking forward for the detailed SOPs and guidelines, he said the industry now needs to collaborate and focus on all the confidence building measures that will reassure travellers to get back on a plane.
"In the downtime, we were preparing ourselves to reopen our services by working on the guidelines prepared by the government to ensure the maximum safety of our guests. We are looking forward to the detailed plan of flying and reopening our bookings by the authorities," said Kanika Tekriwal, CEO and founder of JetSetGo Aviation.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)