The aviation sector in India is all set to begin operations from 25 days after being been shut for over fifty days due to the COVID-19 lockdown. On 20 May, the Union Minister for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri stated that domestic airline services will resume services in a calibrated manner from 25 May, with proper safety measures in place. He added that all airport and airline authorities were being informed to be prepared for operations from the said date. Furthermore, the Civil Aviation Ministry has issued Standard Operating procedures (SOPs) for airports, airlines, and passengers. The Visakhapatnam Airport will also be resuming operations from 25 May with the city set to send and receive flights from four major cities.
A total of 8 domestic flights will be connecting Visakhapatnam to Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, and New Delhi. The flights to Bengaluru and Hyderabad have been scheduled in the morning while those to Chennai and New Delhi have been given the evening slots. The flight to Bangalore will depart at 7:35 am and the one to Hyderabad at 12:30 pm. On the other hand, the flight to Chennai will depart 6:40 pm while the one to New Delhi will leave at 7:50 pm.
Full schedule of flights to and from Visakhapatnam from 25 May:
As for the timings of the return flights from these four locations, the flight from Bangalore will reach Vizag at 6:55 am. The one from Hyderabad will arrive in the city at 11:50 am while the one from Chennai will land in Visakhapatnam at 6 pm. The last flight of the day to Vizag, from New Delhi, arrive at 7:10 pm.
The Standard Operating Procedures for passengers include maintaining physical distancing, wearing masks, downloading and showcasing safe status on the Aarogya Setu app (not required for children under 14 years of age), contactless scanning of boarding passes, the allowance to carry sanitizer under 350 ml. The passengers are encouraged to use modes of online payment at food stores to avoid physical contact. The Minister has further added that airports will take all possible safety measures like ensuring the presence of sanitation stations, taping seats in airlines to ensure physical distancing and protective gear for staff and security to mitigate any possibility of the infection’s spread.