Domestic flights to start once states open airports

Flights aeroplanes

The domestic flight operations in India will resume once the state governments are ready to open airports, civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Tuesday. The Centre alone cannot make a decision in this regard, Puri added.

“It is not up to Centre alone to decide on resuming domestic flights. In the spirit of cooperative federalism, the state governments where these flights will take off and land should be ready to allow civil aviation operations,” said Puri on social-networking platform Twitter.

Commercial flight operations in the country have been suspended since March 25 when the government first imposed a nationwide lockdown.

India has since extended the lockdown thrice. The fourth phase of lockdown will remain in force till May 31 to mitigate the spread of the virus. The Centre on Sunday allowed interstate travel and local transport during the lockdown 4.0. Most of the states permitted taxis, auto-rickshaw and buses to ply on roads.

However, the flight services will remain prohibited till the month end. Cargo, medical evacuation, and special flights have operated during the lockdown.