Wednesday, July 22, 2020

West Bengal Lockdown: Will Flights on July 23, 25, 29 be Cancelled? Airlines in Catch-22 Situation

The airlines with scheduled flights to Kolkata are in a catch-22 situation after the state government announced selective full lockdown in the state until July 31. The government on Tuesday issued a fresh order imposing full lockdown in the state on July 23, July 25 and July 29, apart from the broad-based lockdown going on in the containment zones of the state. A list of permitted activities has also been released. But aviation is not mentioned in the list, which has cast a spell of doubt over domestic flight operations in the state.
The state had already barred domestic flights coming in from Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Pune and Nagpur till July 31, while flights coming from other states are allowed. But what will happen on July 23, July 25 and July 29 — the specific dates the government has announced for full lockdowns across the state? The airlines have no clarity. Even if the flights are in operation, the movement of the flyers from the airports to their destination remains uncertain as the government has made no provision for them. All public and private transport are prohibited during these days. There is no mention of any special pass to facilitate transport on these days.
List of permitted activities:
1. Medicine shops and pharmacies
2. Transport of health personnel, patients.
3. Law and order, courts, fire and emergency services
4. Electricity, water and conservancy services
5. Industries with in-house workers
6. Agriculture operations
7. Interstate and intrastate movement of goods
8. E-commerce
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