Maharashtra, TN, Bengal Will Not Allow Flights To Start; Airlines Will Have To Change Routes
A very strange battle of protocols is brewing up between the Centre and the States, over the issue of resuming flights from tomorrow (May 25).
It seems that three of the biggest airports: Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata may not allow flights to be resumed, and this means that airlines will have to change routes.
Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Bengal May Not Allow Flights
Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal Governments have made it clear that they may not allow flights to resume from May 25th, Monday.
Centre has already announced that flights will resume from May 25th.
Infact, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh tweeted that this move by Centre to resume flights is extremely ill-advised, and that by resuming flights, infections can increase.
Its extremely ill-advised to reopen airports in red zone. Mere thermal scanning of passengers inadequate w/o swabs. Impossible to have autos/cabs/buses ply in current circumstances. Adding positive passenger will add Covid stress to red zone.#MaharashtraGovtCares— ANIL DESHMUKH (@AnilDeshmukhNCP) May 23, 2020
If Maharashtra doesn’t allow flights, then Mumbai airport will not be allowed to operate.
Tamil Nadu too has requested Centre to delay flights till May 31st.
Meanwhile West Bengal, which is already devastated by supercyclone Amphan, has expressed their inability to resume flights amidst this chaos.
What Happens If States Don’t Allow Flights?
In case Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Bengal doesn’t allow flights to resume, then airlines will have to change routes, cancel a lot of tickets, and incur losses.
The decision to resume flights lies with Centre and Ministry of Civil Aviation.
However, the authority to resume airport operations lies with the States.
Hence, even if the flights are resumed, there can be scenario wherein the passengers won’t be allowed to exit the airport, or enter the airport, even if the flight is waiting at the terminal.
Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri is quite optimist on restarting the flights, as he had said earlier, “This will keep going on. When we are dealing with a situation like this, we should expect that there would be some hesitation. But it is our (centre’s) responsibility and we should make efforts to make those concerns,”
We will keep you updated, as more details come in.