Minimum, maximum fare structure, SoPs for air travel set: Puri

Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri

New Delhi, (Asian independent) Domestic passenger flight services commencing from Monday will have a fixed minimum and maximum fare structure for different routes, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Thursday.

Detailing the plans to re-start domestic operations, he said the step has been taken under the special prevailing circumstances that have come about due to the pandemic.

Under the new fare structure, air routes are divided into seven sections, based on travel time. Each such section has its minimum and maximum fares.

The sectors are based on the duration of the flight 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 plan, sector ‘A’ has routes with a travel time of less than 40 minutes and the airlines will be able to offer tickets in the band of Rs 2,000-6,000 for such flights. This sector includes routes such as Delhi-Chandigarh, Jammu-Srinagar and Patna-Ranchi, amongst others.

As per details, sector ‘B’ has flights with duration of more than 40 minutes up to 60 minutes. Flights under this sector includes Delhi-Bhopal, Delhi-Lucknow, and tickets for these flights will be priced from Rs 2,500-7,500.

Sector ‘C’ has a price band of Rs 3,000-9,000, whereas sector ‘D’ flight tickets can be priced from Rs 3,500-10,000. This sector includes routes like Delhi-Mumbai.

Other sectors such as sector ‘E’ has a price band of Rs 4,500-13,000, while sector ‘F’ has ticket costing from Rs 5,500-15,700.

The longest duration segment – G – tickets will cost Rs 6,500-18,600. This sector includes routes like Delhi-Port Blair.

The minister further said the limited passenger flight operations of about one-third capacity of 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 is no quarantine requirement for air crew operating domestic flights due to shorter duration of these operations.

The briefing was held after Ministry of Civil Aviation came out with detailed guideline for airlines and passengers.

The guidelines advised “Vulnerable” persons, such as the very elderly, pregnant women, and passengers with health issues to avoid air travel.

Besides, it said that no physical check-in counters would be allowed at the airport.

“Only those passengers with confirmed web check-in shall be allowed to enter the airport,” the guidelines said.

Additionally, the guidelines said the passengers would be required to certify their status in terms of coronavirus infection through the Aarogya Setu app or a self-declaration form.

“The passenger shall not travel if he or she is staying in a containment zone. Also, they should not travel if they have been tested positive for Covid-l9. The passengers are expected to certify the status of their health through the Aarogya Setu app or a self-declaration form,” the guidelines said.

If a passenger, who is not permitted to fly, undertakes an air journey, he or she shall be liable for penal action, as per the guidelines.

Further, passengers will have to wear protective gear, or a face mask before entering the terminal as per the prevailing requirement and he/she will continue to wear the mask throughout the journey.

During transit to airport, the passenger should take all precautions to prevent infection.

On the luggage part, the passenger would be entitled to carry maximum of one hand baggage and one checked-in baggage as per the specifications by the airline concerned.

In addition, state-run Airports Authority of India has advised passengers to reach airport 2 hours prior to departure.

Its standard operating procedures (SoPs) also advised passengers to install the Aarogya Setu mobile app.

All passengers will be required to go in for a thermal check before entering the terminal, the SoP said.

India has allowed airlines to re-commence domestic passenger flight operations in a calibrated manner from Monday, May 25.

Passenger air services were suspended for both scheduled domestic and international flights since March 25, due to the imposition of the nationwide lockdown in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak.