The request comes a week after the Centre restarted domestic flight services across the country
The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MCA) has asked the Maharashtra government to increase the number of flight services in and out of the state – especially to and from the financial capital, Mumbai.
The ministry held discussions with the state and wrote a letter requesting for flights to be increased to the earlier approved schedule, a senior government official told The Economic Times.
The request comes a week after the Centre restarted domestic flight services across the country. The state government, however, is likely to decline, they added.
Moneycontrol could not independently verify the report.
A state government official said the response would not be a flat no.
“We are not saying a no, but we need some time. Resuming so many flights now when we are at the peak of the pandemic would put a huge strain on our resources. We would need to quarantine them and if there is a spread of infection then it gets more worrisome,” he said.
As per the original schedule stated by Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, the Centre planned to restart one-third of the pre-COVID-19 flight schedule – allowing 216 daily flights (in and out bound).
This was, however, rejected by some states, including Maharashtra – which allowed 50 flights daily (25 each in and out-bound) from Mumbai. The administration is of the opinion that greater influx of people into the state would increase coronavirus cases.
Besides, as the state leads with the highest number of coronavirus cases in India, public health infrastructures and medical facilities, especially in metro Mumbai are strained.Follow our full COVID-19 coverage here