After a 2 month hiatus, the restriction on domestic flying has been lifted permitting free flow of people between states as of today. The strain on the country’s aviation sector resulted in the resumption of domestic flight operations earlier than expected. This revision was established in light of the economic ramifications of the pandemic on the sector. The government greenlit railway operations which strengthened the argument for resuming flight operations as it can provide a cleaner and quicker mode of transport. However, the flight operations have been modified under government guidelines of fare regulation, limited intake capacity and health protocols that will change your flight experience. Here are the details one must keep in mind before travelling by air :
Everything You Need To Know About Domestic Flight Operations In India
However, we’d suggest avoiding travelling by air as much as possible. While the elderly are allowed to take the flight, government requests their minimal flying. We have to keep in mind that the virus is not eradicated and our health, as well as others’, remains in our hands. Make sure you are travelling healthy and safely. Moreover, flying from containment zones are strictly prohibited.
All Airports Are Operational
As per the government, all airports are operational but ultimately, the airlines will take a decision regarding network and flight routes. They will take this decision keeping in mind a number of factors such as the demand and availability of public transport to and from airports in respective states to offer convenient travel in these trying times. Therefore, there will be a limit to the number of flights travelling by air in a day as well.
Airline officials have stated that trunk routes such as Delhi-Mumbai, Mumbai-Bengaluru, Delhi-Bengaluru and so forth may be resumed initially.
Reduced capacity And Median Price
The intake capacity of the domestic flights has been reduced to a third of its pre-lockdown capacity. Moreover, The government has issued a price cap on the flight tickets to prevent inflation of airfares. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has also issued 7 bandwidths of prices with an upper and lower limit. They have decided this in accordance with the flight duration.
It is estimated that 40 per cent of the tickets will be sold under the median price.
Following Government Protocols And Health Guidelines
Your pre-flight, in-flight and post-flight procedure will be quite different from the one that was norm pre-lockdown. These are the set of guidelines and changes that they have implemented into the flight routine for a passenger. All these guidelines are common to all airports. However, there are specific protocols administered state-wise which you must look into before travelling by air.
For example, the state of Tamil Nadu would require you to register your details online into TNePass Portal if you’re flying into the state. Furthermore, the state of Karnataka would require you to apply for a Sewa Sindhu Travel pass.
1.1 Pre-flight protocols
The reporting time for all flights are strictly set to 2 hours before departure. The Ministry of Civil Aviation strongly counsel against arriving at the last minute because normal procedures would be running at a slower pace. It is advisable to be very cautious in order to make travel convenient and safe for you, others and the authorities. Further on, it is mandatory to wear a face mask at all times while travelling by air. You also have to possess a self-declaration or safe status on the Aarogya Setu app to ensure that you don’t have Covid-19 symptoms.
Any passenger with a red status will not be allowed to fly. Passengers will have to undergo thermal screening at the entrance and only those with confirmed web check-in will be allowed to enter. They have done away with physical check-ins for now. Furthermore, passengers will have to print the baggage tag themselves and attach it to their luggage. You have to carry one cabin bag and one handbag into the domestic flights. Therefore, passengers should carry minimum baggage.
Passengers can only use trolleys on a limited scale. They have established the procedures to guide passengers through a security check with security personnel ordered to practice minimum touch. In the waiting area, you are to practice social distancing and avoid using chairs marked “not for use”. There will be retail shops, food and beverages available but passengers must maintain the social distancing protocol to reduce any risk. The passengers will have to self-check-in while boarding by scanning their boarding pass at the boarding gate.
Moreover, the airline staff will provide them with a safety kit consisting of a face mask, face shield and sanitizer that the passenger will have to use before boarding.
1.2 In-flight protocol
To minimise physical contact, you will not get any leisure items such as magazines and newspapers. Passengers travelling by air are to restrict any non-essential movements and reduce the use of the lavatory. They will not provide you any meals with exceptions to specific health requirements or an emergency. Water bottles will be provided in the Gallet area or on the seats.
If any passenger feels sick, fatigued or is coughing, you must notify it to the crew immediately. For exiting the domestic flight, passengers are to file out in a sequence and maintain a distance. For your safety, airport/airline staff will clean and sanitize lavatories every hour and to replace or sanitize every safety card after each domestic flight.
1.3 Post-flight protocols
At the baggage claim carousel, you are to stand within the circles marked by airport operators for social distancing. The baggage will arrive in batches and will be placed within a distance from each other.
Further on, passengers travelling are to only take authorised taxis or the designated public transport to travel from the airport. You should learn all health protocols established by the destination state beforehand as it may vary from zone to zone. These protocols may even prescribe a quarantine period for the arriving passengers depending on the respective states or union territories.
On another note, Woovly requests the countrymen to stay inside their houses and follow the guidelines issued by the government. In these times of need, please help the needy and do whatever is under your capabilities to help the country.
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