Domestic Flights Resume From May 25: The Tamil Nadu government, according to reports, has urged the Centre to not resume domestic flight operations from May 25, as preparations are on full swing to revive the aviation sector. Keeping in view the rising number of cases, and the absence of public transport owing to the ongoing lockdown, the government is believed to have requested to strike Chennai off the list.Also Read - Omicron in Community Transmission Stage in India, Dominant Strain in Metro Cities, Confirms Govt Body
Booking has already started on this route
In that case, the private airlines which have already started taking bookings from May 25 will have to cancel the tickets. Also Read - Are Cloth Masks Really Helpful? Health Experts Answer
Chennai accounts for more than 60 per cent of COVID-19 cases in Tamil Nadu. According to reports, the state government has formed a team of 2,5000 volunteers to fight the outbreak, which has been lately noticed in the slum areas of the capital city. Greater Chennai Corporation was listed as a risk zone by the Centre as well. Also Read - Yoga Tips: 6 Asanas to Recover From Covid 19 And Build Immunity
But weren’t the states consulted before deciding the resumption of domestic flight operations?
On May 17, the Centre had released a guideline for lockdown 4.0 prohibiting domestic air activities until May 31. However, the MHA took a U-turn after two days and removed domestic air activities from the list of prohibited activities. The civil aviation ministry announced that from May 25, flights will start operations. While reports suggested that private airlines too were in the dark about the sudden announcement, the states too were not kept in the loop. In fact, a few days ago, the civil aviation minister had said that despite all preparations, domestic air activities could not be started in lockdown 4.0 as states were not ready.
While it was not known whether states became ready in two days, it has been reported that the Centre is under pressure from the aviation sector as the finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, too, didn’t announce anything lucrative for the sector.