International flight operations may start by mid-June or end-July if the COVID-19 virus “behaves in a predictable manner”, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said Saturday afternoon, during an online discussion with the public to clarify norms governing “calibrated” restart of domestic flights from Monday.
Mr Puri said the government was working towards restarting a “good percentage” of passenger flights that have been grounded since the start of the lockdown to break the coronavirus chain of transmission.
“Why wait till August or September? If situation eases or improves, if virus behaves in predictable manner and we get used to co-exist(ing) with it, we’re in position to make arrangements. Why not start by June middle or end July?” Mr Puri said today.
During his interaction the minister also said he did not understand the need to quarantine domestic fliers who show “green” status on the Aarogya Setu app. “If someone has Aarogya Setu app, it is like a passport. If you have green status, why should anybody want any quarantine?” he asked.
Mr Puri made a similar point during a press briefing on Thursday, during which he revealed details of revised flight ops, including air fares.