India resumed domestic commercial flights from Monday, as part of a continuing relaxation of its lockdown to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.
The resumption of internal flights, exactly two months after they were suspended, was announced by India’s civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri.
The Delhi-Pune and Mumbai-Patna, both operated by IndiGo flights, were among the first to take off on Monday morning.
The government said that only passengers without COVI-19 symptoms will be allowed to fly and on arrival will have to self-monitor their health for 14 days.
If passengers develop any COVID-like symptoms after travel, they will need to inform the district surveillance officer or the state/national call centre, stated the guidelines for domestic travel by air, train and interstate bus issued on Sunday by the country’s Health Ministry.
Some states have sought to limit the number of flights.
The western state of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu in the south and West Bengal in the east — business hubs and home to India’s busiest airports — had said they were not prepared to open for flights as coronavirus cases rose, state government officials said.
Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu agreed to operate limited flights from Monday, while southern state of Andhra Pradesh would allow flights from Tuesday, said Hardeep Singh Puri.
“It has been a long day of hard negotiations with various state government to recommence civil aviation operations in the country…..Domestic flights will recommence across the country from tomorrow,” he said.
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