Highlighting the need to resume operations in the aviation sector, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on May 21 said the decision was taken keeping in mind the need to ensure the stakeholders of the sector are able to bounce back from the COVID-19 setback.
"While it was very important and essential to have coronavirus-enforced lockdown, it is equally important to open up, considering the balance between life and livelihood," he said at a press meet.
For operations from the metro to non-metro and vice-versa, where weekly departures are greater than 100, the government is allowing one-third of approved summer schedule capacity, said Puri.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
These changes are temporary and will remain in effect until August 24, 2020.
For resuming the flights, the government has divided routes into seven sections:
> 180-210 minutes"The ministry will prescribe lower and upper limit on air fares and airlines will have to adhere to it during the period of COVID-19 pandemic," he added.