Sunday, April 12, 2020

Aviation Sector May Escape Lockdown Phase 2, But Curbs Apply: Sources

New Delhi: Clampdown may soon be removed from the crucial aviation sector, sources said, with the matter being discussed in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's meeting with the Chief Ministers yesterday. Passenger air traffic - domestic and international - was halted even before PM Modi announced the 21-day countrywide "curfew-like" lockdown on the evening of March 14. As of now, only cargo flights and special flights are operating.
Sources have now said even though the lockdown is likely to be extended for another two weeks, a recommendation has been made to ease it from the aviation sector.

When passenger operations do resume, airports as well as airlines will be under severe restrictions to ensure there is no transmission of coronavirus. Social distancing has to be followed on the airport premises and in flights, which is expected to hugely push up ticket prices.

Along with security checks, passengers would also be checked for fever and those running a temperature will not be allowed into the airport.

The aviation industry has been the worst hit in the global lockdown over the coronavirus pandemic.
Fresh data from the International Air Transport Association showed that air passenger demand nosedived 14.1 per cent globally last month compared to February 2019. "This was the steepest decline in traffic since 9/11," global aviation association IATA said in a statement.

In India, airlines have grounded fleets, slashed salaries of employees or sent them on mandatory sabbatical. Cargo flights, offshore helicopter operations, medical evacuation flights and special flights, however, have been permitted by Indian aviation regulator DGCA.
12/04/20  Sunil Prabhu/NDTV

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