Airports Authority of India (AAI) is going to cap a limit on the number of flights that will take off initially once lockdown lifts. It makes sense as it would be foolish to assume the airline operations would return to their regular rate post lockdown. The threat is still there, and AAI recognises that starting at a 30% capacity of the aviation industry would be a good thing to test. If everything goes on smoothly, the operations can be increased gradually. The lockdown is supposed to be lifted on May 3, but there is no surety of what will happen. The Indian government can potentially extend the lockdown period.
Airports Are Going To Work Out the Terminal Capacity Based on Social Distancing Rules
Some social distancing norms are going to be in place very soon. All the flight operations will only take place when these rules are being followed religiously. The airports will be deciding the appropriate terminal capacity in regards to social distancing norms. Then the capacity will be forwarded to the CHQ, which will then allocate the right number of flights to each airline and plan the schedules which can be followed. The watch hours for every airline is going to be very limited initially. But it is expected that the normalcy in the rates of watch hours will return once the crisis starts going away.
Flight Operations To be Limited to Tier-1 Cities
It is presumed that initially, the flight operations are going to be limited to tier-1 cities only. Some of the significant tier-2 cities might make the cut as well, but that’s it. All the airports in India won’t be operating commercial flights because then that would entail a significant amount of traffic. Airlines will have to remove their old schedule with the DGCA and now apply for new slots with CHQ. The original summer schedule won’t be followed. It will be interesting to see finally which cities and airports make the cut for resuming commercial flight operations.