Air India to start domestic flights to help stranded citizens

Air India has decided to join the mission to help citizens stranded in the cities due to coronavirus induced lockdown reach their  home states. According to a report in Times of India, Air India will operate special domestic flights from different cities between May 19 and June 2 in this regard. Passengers must bear the travelling expenses for which bookings were yet to begin. Report said.

It is also reported that majority of the flights would be from Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru and Chennai will have one flight: Kochi-Chennai on May 19.Delhi will have 173 flights, Mumbai 40, Hyderabad 25 and Kochi 12.

Flights from Delhi will be operated to Jaipur, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Amritsar, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Vijayawada, Gaya, Lucknow and a few other cities. Air India will operate flights from Mumbai to Visakapatnam, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Vijayawada. There are also flights from Hyderabad to Mumbai, Delhi and back. Bengaluru will have flights to Mumbai, Delhi and Hyderabad and an incoming flight from Bhubaneswar. Report said.

A senior AI official said the schedule is ready as reported by TOI. “We are waiting for a nod from the ministry of civil aviation. The schedule has been prepared as part of phase-2 of evacuation flights to bring Indians from abroad. The government had said that domestic flights too could be included in the second schedule,” he said. Schedule for some of these flights has been designed to ensure that passengers arriving from abroad on rescue flights can fly to their home states. “But that will also depend on quarantine rules,” an official said, adding that the operation was scheduled to start on May 15 but was postponed to 17.

“Now it has been decided to start on May 19. The commencement will depend on the ministry’s approval. But this will be a forerunner to start domestic operations in a phased manner,” he said.

Soon after the notification is released people can book through the airline site. Air India’s decision has come amidst the report that private airlines might be allowed to operate more flights from Chennai.