oppn parties Flights To Resume From Tomorrow But Some States Object

News Snippets

  • In a first, the Supreme Court recognizes marital rape, although for the limited purpose of allowing married women the right of abortion up to 24 weeks if they conceived as a result of forced sex by their husbands
  • Air India cuts discounts on base fare to students and senior citizens from 50% to 25%
  • Mallikarjun Kharge and Digvijay Singh are being touted as frontrunners to take on Shashi Tharoor in the elections for the post of Congress president
  • Sonia Gandhi will decide who will be Rajasthan CM if she feels there is a need to change guard after the near-rebellion by MLAs in the state
  • Ashok Gehlot bowed out of the race for being Congress president after meeting Sonia Gandhi
  • India has moved to the 40th spot in the innovation index, up 6 spots from last year
  • DGGI has alleged that top insurance companies, banks and NBFCs has committed a fraud of Rs 800cr by claiming input tax credit without underlying supplies
  • The Centre will borrow Rs 10000cr less than planned earlier due to good revenue collections
  • At $23.9bn, India's current account deficit widened to 2.8% in Q1, the worst in four years
  • Stocks continue to flounder on Thursday: Sensex sheds 188 points to 56409 and Nifty 40 points to 16818
  • The 36th National Games were declared open on Thusrday by PM Modi in front of a record crowd in Motera near Ahmedabad
  • Jasprit Bumrah most likely to miss T20 World Cup due to recurrence of back injury
  • PFI's political wing, the SDPI is on EC radar and action will follow soon if discrepancies are detected
  • Ashok Gehlot to meet Sonia Gandhi today, says all issues will be sorted out soon
  • Referring to the PFI ban, most Muslim organizations ask the government to take similar action against right wings organizations like the RSS, Bajrang Dal, VHP and the like
In a landmark order, Supreme Court rules that all women, married or unmarried, are entitled to safe and legal abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy as per the MTP Act
oppn parties
Flights To Resume From Tomorrow But Some States Object

By A Special Correspondent
First publised on 2020-05-24 18:30:46

While the Centre has taken the welcome decision of opening up the aviation sector in a calibrated manner from Monday, May 25, some states, Maharashtra in particular, have expressed their inability to allow the resumption of flights to and from airports in their states citing the rising number of Covid-19 cases. West Bengal has asked for operations to resume from May 30 in view of the destruction caused by Cyclone Amphan. These are valid reasons and the Centre must ask the airlines to plan routes keeping the request of the states in mind.

Although the aviation sector has suffered huge losses due to the two-month forced closure due to the lockdown, any haste in resuming flights in areas where the administration is not ready to deal with the influx of potential carriers of the coronavirus is fraught with danger. With the travel protocol issued by the Centre prescribing for home quarantine for asymptomatic passengers, it will be difficult to keep tabs on them now that the Aarogya Setu app has been made optional for air travel. Hence it will be wise for the airlines to avoid landing at Mumbai, Pune and other destinations in Maharashtra and other states that are asking for time, for now.

One knows that the Delhi-Mumbai and Mumbai-Bengaluru routes are very lucrative and productive for the airlines but the situation arising out of the rising Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra has to be kept in mind. Since the operations are being started in a calibrated manner, the airlines can, for now, operate more flights on other routes as per demand. They can then scale up the operations once Maharashtra allows flights in its state. The airlines will have to take all the necessary precautions and follow the health protocol to ensure that flying remains a safe option. Like in most other things, there will be a "new" normal in aviation too and passengers will also have to follow it.

The other issue is about the price band fixed by the government. While government intervention in pricing is always to be resisted, one feels that since the measure has been introduced for only the next three months, the airlines have nothing to fear. These are troubling times and they call for some harsh decisions. In any case, one feels that with the scare of Covid-19 still too strong, there will not be an immediate rush for flight tickets apart from people going back home from where they had got stranded or people with extreme urgency. This fact is reflected in the easy availability of tickets at reasonable prices in most sectors after bookings resumed. Travel for leisure or other non-essential reasons will take some time to pick up. By that time, price control will be off and market pricing will be back in force.