Middle seats have been a hot topic since the time talks for resuming commercial flights started. Everyone has different opinions on what should be done with the middle seats. DGCA on Monday has asked airlines to keep the middle seats vacant to the extent possible. This suggestion from DGCA comes keeping in mind the social distancing norms. But still, airlines are allotting middle seats to the passengers and rightly so to save costs. DGCA also has recommendations for passengers who are allotted middle seats. The passenger in the middle seat will have to wear additional protective equipment which is a wrap-around gown. The gown will be approved by the Ministry of Textile.
Supreme Court Handles Power to DGCA to Alter Norms
A petition for whether to keep middle seats empty or not was filed in Supreme Court. The SC believes, DGCA should have full power to alter norms for the middle seats in the interest of public health and safety. A flight’s center seat shall be left vacant if the passenger load of the plane is less. However, people from the same family can sit together. Since the passenger load in the planes is at around 50% at the moment, there won’t be much problem for airlines in complying with the rules of DGCA.
Passenger Safety to be Prioritised
The DGCA has advised that all the passengers boarding a plane must be provided with a safety kit. The safety kit should have three-layered surgical masks, an adequate amount of sanitiser, and a face shield. Airlines must take care of the orderly entry and exit of all the passengers they are flying. IndiGo and Air India have said that they are more than happy to comply with the guidelines set by the DGCA. Whereas a spokesperson from Vistara said that they are reviewing the guidelines from DGCA and will make the necessary changes really soon. The Novel Coronavirus has affected around 2,00,000 people in India and killed 5,610 people until now. It is important for airlines to work with the best health safety guidelines at the moment.