As India’s airlines prepare to resume operations, they now must adhere to social distancing norms. Flights will now have to operate with only one-third occupancy to ensure maximum social distancing between on-board passengers.
According to the TNN report, authorities are evaluating the option of allowing only one person in a row of three seats, with another passenger in the row that is immediately behind, on the diametrically opposite seat — widow-aisle-window-aisle configuration — during ‘Phase I’.
The seating capacity of a 180-seater single aisle (six seats across 30 rows) will, therefore, fall by two-thirds to 60 (two persons on each row of six seats across 30 rows). To compensate for the loss of capacity, airlines will need to raise fares by anywhere between 1.5 to 3 times, ToI quoted officials as saying.
IndiGo has already come out with a post-lockdown plan. The Budget carrier’s CEO Ronojoy Dutta said that the airline will deep clean its aircraft and will stop on-board meal services for some time. He also added that only 50 per cent of the seats in airport buses will be filled.
While there is no official word yet on what the second phase of the lockdown may look like, may private airlines resumed there booking for the period past Apil 14th.
India suspended domestic and international commercial passenger flight operations from midnight on March 24 for 21 days in sync with the nation-wide lockdown.