With domestic air travel set to start in a phased manner from Monday, the Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), on Saturday, said all flights will be operating from Terminal 3 or T3, which is usually reserved for international flights.
“All flights will be operating from Terminal 3: Delhi International Airport Limited #COVID19,” the DIAL tweeted Saturday afternoon. Usually, domestic flights operate out out Terminal 1 and 2.
The announcement came hours before Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri addressed a press conference in which he said India would also try to start “a good percentage of international passenger flights before August”.
Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International or IGI Airport is the busiest airport in the country and handled an average of 1,500 flights per day before all domestic and international air traffic was halted in view of the global coronavirus pandemic.
The central government had announced, on May 21, that airlines will be allowed to resume about a third of their domestic operations from May 25, with rules to reduce the risk of contagion while travelling.
As per the new rules, no meals would be served on any flight, temperature checks using hand-held thermal scanners are mandatory for all passengers, no passenger with any symptoms of the coronavirus disease would be allowed to board a flight, all passengers must have Aarogya Setu app on their smartphones and full protective gear is mandatory for the crew. In addition, all passenger baggage will be passed through UV disinfection tunnels at both point of departure and arrival.
The middle seat, however, would not be left vacant, as is needed to maintain social distancing. Mr Puri had earlier said “it is not viable” as ticket prices would shoot up. The government has released a list of fare caps between destinations for the next three months.
The gradual opening up of air travel comes as India’s cases of coronavirus crossed 1.25 lakh, increasing by 6,654 over the previous day-the highest single-day rise in the past week when positive cases of the coronavirus disease rose to new highs almost each day; deaths stood at 3,720.