NEW DELHI: Civil aviation minister

Hardeep Singh Puri

on Thursday said that a minimum and maximum fare for three months has been set for the

domestic flight services

, which will resume from May 25.

“We have set a minimum and a maximum fare. In the case of Delhi and Mumbai the minimum fare would be Rs 3,500 for a journey between 90-120 minutes. The maximum fare would be Rs 10,000. This is operative for three months – till one minute to midnight on August 24,” Puri said at a press conference.

Limits on air fares have been set in seven bands as per the flight durations and they would be in place till August 24, Puri said.

The minister said the first band will consist of flights that are of less than 40 minutes duration.

Second, third, fourth and fifth bands of upper limit would be of flights with durations of 40-60 minutes, 60-90 minutes, 90-120 minutes and 120-150 minutes, he said.

The sixth and seventh bands would consist of flights with durations between 150-180 minutes and 180-210 minutes, Puri stated.

More on Covid-19

On Wednesday, the minister had said that domestic flight operations will resume from May 25, noting that all airlines and airports were ready.

Puri also said that guidelines have been issued for the passengers and airports, which are to be followed during flight operations.

“The cabin crew will be required to be in full protective gear. Only one check-in bag will be allowed. Passengers should report at least two hours before the departure time,” he said.

“A passenger will be required to wear protective gear, face mask and carry sanitiser bottle. Airlines shall not provide the meal on board. Water bottles will be made available in the gallery area or on seats,” he added.

He also said that

Aarogya Setu App status

on a compatible device would be obtained to ensure that a person does not have COVID-19 symptoms.

“Passengers with red status on Aarogya Setu App will not be allowed to travel,” he said.

However, if a passenger does not have the Aarogya Setu app on her or his phone for some reason, she or he can give a self-declaration form, the minister said, adding that such a passenger will not be stopped from boarding the flight.

Stating the rules for different routes for the carriers, the minister said: “For operations from the metro to non-metro cities and vice-versa, where the weekly departure is less than 100, airlines are free to operate any routes of one-third capacity of approved summer schedule 2020. For all other cities, airlines are free to use one-third capacity of approved summer schedule 2020.”

The minister said that some tweaking of procedures, based on the experience garnered from domestic flight operations, will be needed to be studied before thinking of starting international flights.

‘More than 20,000 citizens brought back under Vande Bharat mission’

Puri said that over 20,000 Indian citizens have been brought back to the country under the Vande Bharat Mission so far and the number will rise further in the coming days.

“Under Vande Bharat Mission, we have brought back more than 20,000 of our citizens from various destinations. We have at the same time utilised the outgoing aircraft to carry our citizens who are normally residents abroad, and needed to travel because they have jobs to do and other commitments,” Puri said.

The minister added that some countries are “at this point of time not allowing foreign nationals to come back,” stating that six countries in the Gulf and the Middle East, and some others in East Asia are included in the list.

He further said that the Vande Bharat Mission had started “somewhat cautiously”, and the intention in between May 6 and 13 was to bring back 12,800 people, but the numbers were ramped up in the second week, and a substantial increase in the number of flights from Air India, with the private players also joining in the coming days will be seen.

He, however, added, “During Vande Bharat Mission, our effort was not to bring back everyone who wanted to come back. The clear emphasis was on evacuating our citizens who were genuinely stranded and in distress abroad.”

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