Two months into coronavirus lockdown, India resumed domestic flights this morning bringing relief to the aviation sector that has been facing huge losses since the pandemic began.
The first domestic flight took off from New Delhi for Pune at 4:45 am, days after Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri made the big announcement on resumption of flights.
Among the states that had initially resisted the decision, Tamil Nadu has listed out SOPs for the passengers arriving in the state.
Last week, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu - home to some of the country's busiest airports in Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai - had red-flagged the centre's plan to restart passenger flights
Last week, Hardeep Puri had indicated that the government was not in favour of quarantining passengers on short-haul flights and that the larger question of quarantining would have to be dealt with in a "pragmatic manner". "Why are we making a fuss over quarantine? Positive cases won't be boarding and there can be asymptomatic people. The quarantine issue will be dealt with in a pragmatic manner. We can't have 14 days quarantine... it is not practical," the aviation minister said.
Here are the live updates on India resuming domestic flights
Cancellations and confusion were seen on the first day of the resumption of domestic flight operation at Bengaluru's Kempegowda International Airport, which opened for passengers after being locked down for two months because of the coronavirus pandemic. Several passengers complained that they were not told about the mandatory web check-in rule, but hundreds landed or took off. Read here.
Restaurants, providing contact-less ordering, reopen at Delhi airport.
Domestic flights resumed in the country on Monday even as coronavirus cases surge, while confusion about quarantine rules prompted jitters among passengers and the cancellation of dozens of planes.
As domestic flights resumed at several airports across India this morning after two months since the coronavirus lockdown was imposed, there was confusion and chaos at airports in Delhi, Mumbai and other cities as a large number of flights were cancelled and passengers complained that they did not get any notification from the airlines.
This afternoon, Aviation Minister tweeted images to show increase in air traffic after flights resumed.
Indians soar in the skies again!- Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) May 25, 2020
A beautiful live capture from #flightradar24 shows how our skies look busy again as domestic civil aviation recommences in India from today.@MoCA_GoI@AAI_Official@DGCAIndia@flyspicejet@airindiain@IndiGo6E@email@example.com/LytA1H8xcH
Passengers from different parts of the country arrive at Chennai airport as domestic flight operations resume from today, news agency ANI reports. A passenger at the airport says, "I had gone to Delhi for internship, but got stuck there for two months due to CoronavirusLockdown."
New rules for domestic travel during the lockdown were released by the government on Sunday, including advising passengers to download the Aarogya Setu application on their mobile devices and asking states to ensure thermal screening at departure point of airports, railway stations and bus terminals.
Air travel resumed across India this morning, two months after the lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, bringing relief to the aviation sector that was on the brink of collapse.
We brought back more than 30,000 stranded Indians on Vande Bharat flights since 6 May 2020.- Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) May 25, 2020
We flew 917 tons of medical & essential cargo on Lifeline UDAN flights since 26 March 2020.
Today, we restart domestic flights.
India's civil aviation is always on the forefront.