May 16, 2020 11:39 pm

Airlines to Govt: ‘Yes, Our Aircraft Are Ready To Fly Again’

Representational Pic

New Delhi: With the possibility of resuming domestic flights soon, airlines in India have submitted their aircraft’s airworthiness report to the country’s aviation regulator Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA).

As per the set protocol, airlines have to submit their aircraft details to the DGCA and the MoCA before the resumption of their flight operations.

“Airlines are submitting their aircraft’s status and airworthiness report to the regulator,” sources in the MoCA told ANI.

The Central government is planning to start domestic flights with several guidelines, but as of now, no clear instruction has been given to them.

MoCA has informed all aviation stakeholders including airlines and airport operators through the draft SOPs that “people over the age of 80 will not be allowed to travel in the first phase of flight commencement.”

No cabin baggage will be allowed at the initial level and only one piece of check-in baggage -- less than 20 kg -- will be allowed, as per the MoCA’s draft SOP.

Meanwhile, the Government of India and the Airport Authority of India (AAI) has issued necessary steps before the flights resume stating that passengers have to download the Arogya Setu app on their smartphones before arriving at the airport.

“With the possibility of resuming domestic flights soon, the AAI has issued some steps that should be followed so that passengers can be fully dressed while travelling. Wear a mask, carry a hand sanitiser, keep the docs handy and register on the ArogyaSetu app,” reads a post on the official Twitter handle of AAI.

Vistara has a smaller fleet size than other airlines -- 41 aircraft, IndiGo having about 260 aircraft in its fleet, 120 aircraft with SpiceJet and Air India group has over 155 aircraft in its fleet.

Recently a senior official from the MoCA had given a detailed presentation before the Group of Minister (GoM) when India is taking a decision on mass repatriation flights for bringing back Indians from abroad under the Vande Bharat Mission.

“Over 500 aircraft in India and all are capable to repatriate Indians from the Gulf region and other countries,” senior MoCA officials added.

A private airline has also given a detailed report to the MoCA and the DGCA, stating that its aircraft are ready for flying.

“We are regularly maintaining our aircraft even though aircraft are flying or not. We have maintained our necessary checks of the aircraft engines and other important equipment. Our aircraft are ready. However, difficult it will be since a booking window is required but we are just waiting to start as soon as we get a confirmation,” sources of an airline told ANI.

Air India is operating domestic flights for those who are coming to India from abroad in repatriation flights under the Vande Bharat Mission.

There is a ban on the movement of commercial flights in India from March 17 to May 17 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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