India resumes domestic flights

Photo: Venkat Mangudi

Domestic flights in India are starting to resume this Monday, as a temporary ban that had been in effect since March 22 is lifted.

The government is now allowing India’s domestic airlines to operate up to a third of their pre-Coronavirus flight schedules, putting an end to a two month long aviation shutdown in the country.

Authorities have implemented a number of additional restrictions and regulations, including health guidelines that can vary depending on the region and local governments, many of which are still unclear. All states in India have the possibility to decide on their own rules. There were initial debates over when the ban should be lifted and what measures will be put in place after several states were against the resumption of air traffic.

A price cap is also put in place to prevent airlines from charging higher than usual fares now that demand is expected to make a temporary jump as travellers are allowed to fly again.

When the suspension of regular air travel was first announced, it was intended to slow the spread of Coronavirus. However, this restart of domestic flights now comes as the number of daily reported Covid-19 cases are on the rise in the country. As of May 25th, India is among the ten most affected countries worldwide, based on the total number of confirmed cases.