Based on flying time, there are seven categories: starting at flights below 40 minutes having a range of Rs 2,000-6,000 and going upto those with flying time of 3-3.5 hours with a range of Rs 6,500-18,600 (see graphic). With air services set to resume from May 25, most airlines have started taking bookings.
Aviation minister H S Puri said there may not be any requirement to quarantine domestic passengers. “The rules of different states will need to be followed. It does not seem domestic flyers will need to be quarantined,” Puri said.
The new protocol for flying has also been finalised that, among other things, prohibits eating on board (except on health ground), advises pregnant women, aged and people with health issues not to fly for now and check-in bag tags that passengers used to get being replaced by SMSs.
People staying in containment zones and those who have been detected corona positive in the last two months can’t fly. And if they do so, penal action will be taken against them.
Meanwhile, the economy one-way fares fixed by the government, that do not include user development fee of airports, passenger security fees (Rs 150 for domestic) and GST, will be in force till 11.59 pm of August 24, 2020.
Delhi-Mumbai, one of the world’s busiest domestic air routes, falls in a category with fare range of Rs 3,500-10,000. Airlines will need to sell 40% seats at below the mid point of Rs 6,750. This sector had about 100 daily flights and now having about 33 could have meant sky-high fares — with a sneak peak being provided by a low-cost airline, which opened bookings for some time on Wednesday night. Delhi-Mumbai one-way was going for over Rs 17,000.
“It is important to open up (the skies) now… to strike a balance between life and livelihood. So we are beginning with about one-third (of approved DGCA summer schedule) domestic flights in a calibrated manner. Based on the experience, we will increase domestic flights,” aviation minister H S Puri said.