India will try to restart a good percentage of international passenger flights before August, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Saturday, three days after announcing the resumption of domestic flights from May 25.
All scheduled commercial passenger flights have been suspended in India since March 25 when the Modi government imposed a lockdown to contain the novel coronavirus pandemic.
"I am fully hopeful that before August or September, we will try to start a good percentage of international civil aviation operations, if not complete international operations," Puri said during a Facebook live session. "I can't put a date on it (restarting international flights). But if somebody says can it be done by August or September, my response is why not earlier depending on what is the situation," he added.
Earlier on Thursday, the Ministry of Civil Aviation stated that domestic airlines will function from Monday with a fare cap on the minimum and maximum ticket rates. The Ministry also declared Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) with exact pre-flight, in-flight and post-flight advisories that comprise arriving at the airport at least two hours before the departure time, compulsory use of face masks, permission from Aarogya Setu app and mandatory web check-in.
The SOPs require travellers to follow to health procedures set by the destination state or Union Territory.
The centre has made thermal screening compulsory for all travellers and everyone is supposed to install the Aarogya Setu app, which will notify the authorities whether you are coming from a containment zone.
(With inputs from PTI)