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Congress questions govt on Covid safety norms on flights

Congress questions govt on Covid safety norms on flights
May 22
11:44 2020

NEW DELHI: Following the government’s decision to open the domestic aviation sector closed for the last two months due to lockdown, Congress on Thursday questioned the government on how it can ensure implementation of social distancing and other Covid safety norms.

“The Minister must make a clear statement,” demanded Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala. “What happened to Jaan hai to Jahaan hai — the term coined by the Prime Minister? Do you want to implement or not implement social distancing requirement? Is it safe or dangerous to fly with all seats occupied?” Surjewala asked.

Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Thursday that domestic passenger flight services commencing from Monday will have a fixed minimum and maximum fare structure for different routes.

While detailing the plans to re-start domestic operations, he said the step has been taken under the special prevailing circumstances brought about by the pandemic. Under the new fare structure, air routes are divided into seven sections based on travel time. Each such section has a minimum and maximum fares.

Accordingly, the Delhi-Mumbai ticket price has been fixed at Rs 3,500-Rs 10,000 for three months from May 25 to August 24. The minister further said the limited passenger flight operations of about one-third capacity of the summer schedule would be permitted to operate between metro cities from May 25.

This capacity might be ramped up in the subsequent time period.

It was disclosed that there is no quarantine requirement for aircrew operating domestic flights due to the shorter duration of these operations.

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