Lockdown in India has been extended by yet another two-weeks. One of the most suffering sectors during the time of lockdown is the airline. Aviation Industry not only suffering in India but also globally. The only way airlines can sustain the losses is when the government starts helping the sector with relief packages. But that doesn’t seem to be in the plans of government because of limited resources. But now, Airports Authority of India (AAI) has announced that one-third of total flights will be immediately operational as soon as commercial airline operations are given the green signal by government.
New SOP Prepared by AAI
According to the new standard operational procedure (SOP) prepared by AAI, it is mentioned that the airports will start accommodating domestic and international flights at a capacity of 30%. But all of this only when social distancing can be maintained at the airports. All of the operations that will take place inside the airports will be done based on social distancing norms. Airports will now have to work out and plan on the new terminal capacity and forward it to the CHQ so that slot allocation can take place.
Airlines to Operate With Limited Watch Hours
All of the airlines will be provided with a limited number of watch hours. They will have to operate within the watch hours not to get penalised. Post global pandemic, the watch hours will return to their standard rates. All the airports will have to plan everything now because the airline operations will start as soon as the lockdown lifts from the country. Initially, flights will be only available for Tier 1 cities and some Tier 2 cities. There will also be minimal food and beverage outlets in the airport, and flights will have proper social distancing protocols. Every passenger will be screened to check for COVID-19 symptoms. Be prepared to reach airports three hours before your scheduled flight.