India might allow int'l flights ops from July: Minister


[Chennai: ONGC workers arrive by a special flight from Kolkata, during the ongoing nationwide COVID-19 lockdown, at Chennai airport, Saturday, May 23, 2020. Domestic civil aviation operations will recommence in a calibrated manner from May 25. ( /PTI] New Delhi, May 23 : International flight operations from India might commence from July depending upon the circumstances surrounding the Covid-19 outbreak, Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Saturday. The statement assumes significance as it comes just days ahead of the recommencement of domestic flight services from Monday. During an online question and answer session, the minister said: "If the situation eases and improves, by that I mean if the virus behaves in a predictable manner, we get used to the idea of being able to coexist with the virus and we are in a position to make arrangements." "So far, the 'Vande Bharat Mission' has moved very well and I am confident that when domestic flights start, they will also proceed very well... So why not start (international flights) by June middle or June end or July," he added. On Thursday, the Centre had said that the domestic passenger flight services will recommence from May 25. However, unlike domestic travel, various other formalities such as visa and foreign entry rules apply on the international segment of air travel. For the domestic operations, airlines will be allowed to recommence on a limited number of passenger flight services which is about one-third capacity of the summer schedule. Subsequently, this capacity might be ramped up in the coming days. Passenger air services were suspended for both scheduled domestic and international flights since March 25, due to the imposition of the nationwide lockdown in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak. /IANS




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