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Domestic air travel open, conditions apply

 

New Delhi: Two months after all domestic and international flights were halted in India due to the coronavirus pandemic, 33 percent domestic flights will restart May 25. On Thursday, the government issued guidelines for air travel and set several conditions, including fare-capping.

The civil aviation ministry said one-third of domestic flights will start in limited sectors with fares as set by the government. Those with Covid-19 history, or living in containment zones, and those with cold, cough, or respiratory illness cannot travel.

The airlines have been told to keep fares within the prescribed range, and 40 percent of seats must be sold at the mid-point of lower and upper limits. Air routes have been divided into seven bands, based on the duration of flights, ranging from 40 minutes to 210 minutes.

On the Delhi-Mumbai sector, the densest route, the lowest fare is Rs 3,500 and the highest Rs 10,000. So 40 percent seats must be sold at the midpoint: Rs 6,700 plus taxes. We want to ensure fares don’t get out of hand and are reasonable for airlines too,” said civil aviation secretary Pradeep Kharola. This must be followed by the airlines till August 23.

Passengers must come to the airport two hours before departure. There will be no meals on board and only one check-in and one cabin baggage will be allowed. Passengers must get boarding passes through the mandatory web check-in. All passengers have to provide their medical details via the Aarogya Setu app or by filling up a self-declaration form.