Fare structure, SoPs set for air travel, flights to resume on Monday
New Delhi: The Centre has set new safety procedures along with price points for the recommencement of India’s domestic passenger flight services from Monday (May 25).
The expansive guidelines, notifications and circulars not just outline the safety standards of social distancing, but also thermal screening, passenger and air crew behaviours.
Besides, the domestic passenger flight services will also have a fixed minimum and maximum fare structure for different routes.
Detailing the plans for recommencement of flight services on Thursday, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said the step to fix the fare bands has been taken under the special prevailing circumstances that have come about due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Under the new fare structure, air routes have been divided into seven sections based on travel time. Each such section has its minimum and maximum fare.
As per the details, the seven price bands are based on the duration of the flights with ‘A’ being the shortest and ‘G’ being the longest. The price bands have been instituted for three months, from May 25 to August 24.
Based on the circular, sector ‘A’ has routes with travel time of less than 40 minutes; the airlines will offer tickets in the band of Rs 2,000 to Rs 6,000 for such flights. This sector includes routes such as Delhi-Chandigarh, Jammu-Srinagar and Patna-Ranchi, among others.
Similarly, sector ‘B’ has flights with duration of more than 40 minutes up to 60 minutes. Flights under this sector include Delhi-Bhopal and Delhi-Lucknow, among others, and tickets for these flights will be priced from Rs 2,500 to Rs 7,500.
Subsequently, sector ‘C’ has a price band of Rs 3,000 to Rs 9,000, whereas sector ‘D’ flight tickets will be priced from Rs 3,500 to Rs 10,000. Sector ‘D’ includes routes like Delhi-Mumbai, among others.
Sector ‘E’ has a price band of Rs 4,500 to Rs 13,000, while sector ‘F’ tickets will cost between Rs 5,500 and Rs 15,700.
For the longest duration segment — tickets will cost between Rs 6,500 and Rs 18,600. This sector includes routes like Delhi-Port Blair.
Puri also said that 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.
During the briefing, it was disclosed that there are no quarantine requirements for the air crew operating the domestic flights due to shorter duration of these operations.
The briefing was held after the Ministry of Civil Aviation came out with detailed guideline for airlines and passengers.
As per the guidelines, “Vulnerable” persons, such as very elderly, pregnant ladies and passengers with health issues, should avoid air travel.
It further said that no physical check-in counters would be allowed at the airports. “Only those passengers with confirmed web check-in shall be allowed to enter the airports,” the guidelines said.
Additionally, the guidelines said that passengers would be required to certify their status in terms of coronavirus infection through the Aarogya Setu app or a self-declaration form.