Mumbai: A day ahead of partial resumption of domestic flight services in the country amidst the lockdown, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday sought more time from the Civil Aviation Ministry for restarting the operations at the Mumbai international airport.
He also said that minimum possible domestic flights from Maharashtra be initiated from Monday.
In an online briefing, Thackeray said, "I spoke to civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri today and told him that the Mumbai international airport needs more time to resume its operations.
"Till the time MIAL (Mumbai International Airport Limited) plans and fine-tunes the airport operations, the aviation ministry should initiate minimum possible domestic flights from Maharashtra from May 25th, which are purely emergent in nature like for international transfer of passengers, medical emergencies, students, and cases on compassionate grounds.
Thackeray said some 13 more international flights till be landing at the Mumbai airport by June 7.
Puri had announced resumption of domestic flight services from May 25 as part of the Centre's efforts to gradually open the air travel that was suspended nearly two months ago due to a lockdown imposed to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.
A Maharashtra government official on Saturday said the state had not yet amended its May 19 lockdown order which allowed only certain kinds of flights.
As per the May 19 order of the state government extending the coronavirus-induced lockdown to May 31, all domestic and international air travel, except for domestic medical services, domestic air ambulance and for security purposes as permitted by Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), will continue to remain prohibited across the state.
Worst-hit by the coronavirus pandemic, Maharashtra by Saturday reported 47,190 cases and 1,577 COVID-19 fatalities.