Coronavirus Lockdown: Govt cap fares of Mumbai-Delhi route at Rs 3,000-10,000; comes out with guidelines for domestic air travel

About a third of operations will be allowed under strict norms when domestic flight services restart on Monday after a two-month hiatus and all the airlines will have to adhere to the upper and lower limits of fares prescribed by the government, the Civil Aviation Ministry said on Thursday

FP Staff May 21, 2020 18:12:23 IST
Coronavirus Lockdown: Govt cap fares of Mumbai-Delhi route at Rs 3,000-10,000; comes out with guidelines for domestic air travel

New Delhi: About a third of operations will be allowed under strict norms when domestic flight services restart on Monday after a two-month hiatus and all the airlines will have to adhere to the upper and lower limits of fares prescribed by the government, the Civil Aviation Ministry said on Thursday.

In a set of detailed guidelines, the ministry advised vulnerable people like the elderly, pregnant women and passengers battling health issues to avoid air travel till the coronavirus pandemic abates. People residing in the containment zone will not be allowed to travel.

Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Thursday said that a minimum and maximum fare for three months has been set for the domestic flight services, which resume from 25 May. Limits on airfares have been set in seven bands as per the flight durations and they would be in place till 24 August, said Puri said.

"We have set a minimum and a maximum fare. In the case of Delhi, Mumbai the minimum fare would be Rs 3,500 for a journey between 90-120 minutes. The maximum fare would be Rs 10,000. This is operative for three months -- till one minute to midnight on 24 August," said Puri at a press conference.

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The ministry asked all the airline operators to adhere to lower and upper limit of fares prescribed by the government for the next three months.

All passengers will have to provide their medical details through the Aarogya Setu app or by filling up a self-declaration form. They will have to go for web-check-in as physical check-in counters in airports will not operate.

The rules included no meals onboard, mandatory temperature checks for all passengers and allowing only one check-in bag for each passenger. People who were tested positive for COVID-19 will not be allowed to travel. All the passengers will have to wear masks while entering the airports and thereafter.

Coronavirus Lockdown Govt cap fares of MumbaiDelhi route at Rs 300010000 comes out with guidelines for domestic air travel

Representational image. Reuters.

Passengers will have to report to airports two hours before flights are scheduled to depart and they will have to strictly follow social distancing rules.

The government's decision to allow domestic air travel comes days after the government relaxed norms allowing economic activities to resume in a bid to revive the economy hit hard by the coronavirus lockdown.

Operations of all scheduled commercial passenger flights were suspended on 25 March when the nationwide lockdown to combat the coronavirus pandemic came into force.

"All stakeholders such as airlines, airports have cooperated. So we took the decision to resume flights from 25 May," Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said addressing a press conference.

Puri said all the air travel routes have been divided into seven sections based on the duration of flights ranging from 40 minutes to 210 minutes. The aim of the exercise is to control the fares.

The Civil Aviation Secretary said 40 percent of the seats in any flight will have to be sold at the mid-point of the lower and upper airfare limits prescribed for any route by the authorities.

He said only one-third flights will be permitted to operate from the metro to non-metro cities where weekly departures are more than 100.

"The passengers are expected to certify the status of their health through the Aarogya Setu app or a self-declaration form," said the ministry.

Airports have been advised to earmark areas for isolation as well as to carry out COVID-19 testing of suspected passengers.

According to the guidelines, the airports will have to ensure easy availability of hand sanitisers at all entry points and at various touchpoints.

The ministry also allowed resumption of services by all food and beverages (F&B) outlets on the condition that they must follow all COVID-19 precautions. "Take-away, digital payments, self-ordering booths at F&B and retail outlets to be encouraged to prevent crowding of people, it said.

(With PTI inputs)

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