Domestic Flight Resumption From May 25: Ahead of the much-awaited resumption of the domestic flights from May 25 — after a gap of two months — several confusions cropped up as the state governments — one after another — have raised objection to open the states to a sudden influx of passengers from outside. Also Read - Air India to Open International Booking For These 7 Places Tomorrow at 5 PM | Check List
According to reports, Tamil Nadu was the first state to have urged the Centre to not open the airports until May 31. Maharashtra on Saturday too said that the lockdown should go on till May end. Also Read - Flight Operations Resume at Mumbai Airport Just 4 Hrs After Cyclone Nisarga Hits Coast
After Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, West Bengal, which is reeling under the devastating impacts of Cyclone Amphan, has said it wants domestic flight services at Kolkata and Bagdogra airports to be postponed by a few more days. Also Read - Will Restart International Flights as Soon as Situation Normalises, Says Aviation Minister Puri
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday said West Bengal will urge the Centre to postpone resuming domestic flight services at Kolkata and Bagdogra airports by a few days as the state will be busy with managing the damage caused by Cyclone Amphan.
The CM said she has asked the chief secretary to request the Civil Aviation Ministry to defer the services at Kolkata airport to May 30 and at Bagdogra airport to May 28. The state has already urged the Centre to put off the movement of special trains till May 27.
So now what will happen?
While these are just requests of the state governments, neither the home ministry nor the civil aviation ministry has commented on this issue. So, the schedules will be on. Without any intervention from the Centre, the airlines won’t cancel the tickets.
Should airlines have consulted the states?
On Saturday, in an unprecedented move, GoAir said it will start booking after May 25 only after consulting the states. While this is an individual call of the particular airline, the airlines were not supposed to check with all the state governments once the ministry of home affairs, the ministry of civil aviation gave a go-ahead to the airlines and DGCA approved the schedule.
Centre versus State
Union civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri had earlier said that despite preparations, domestic flight operations could not begin from May 15 (as he had promised) or May 18 (the beginning of lockdown 4.0), as the states were opposed to it. It is not clear whether states agreed to the resumption of the domestic flights from May 25.
Almost all state governments have come up with a guideline to quarantine everyone flying in from outside. The civil aviation minister has questioned the move as well saying that if a person is cleared by the Aarogya Setu app, there is no need to quarantine them. But states — dealing with the rising number of cases every day — don’t want to take any risk.
What will Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, West Bengal do?
The flight operations are starting from tomorrow. In that case, there are no other options to the states other than allowing the incoming flights. The airports, in question, are all ready to handle the passengers.