NEW DELHI: Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Monday clarified that the flight restrictions that have been imposed as a result of COVID-19 outbreak will be lifted once the spread of the infection is controlled.
The Minister in a series of tweets repeated the earlier directions for the flights and made certain clarifications regarding the restrictions.
"I want to once again say that flight restrictions that are in place as a result of India's fight against COVID19 will be lifted once we are confident that spread of the virus has been controlled and it poses no danger to our country and people," Puri tweeted.
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The Union Civil Aviation Minister said that earlier also he had mentioned that lifting the restriction would be "considered" after the lockdown ends.
"Our views and approach on restarting flights have been clearly stated. On 2nd April, I said--A decision to restart flights after this period remains to be taken--and reiterated this on 5th. On 14th when Lockdown extended, I said--we can CONSIDER lifting restrictions-- after Lockdown," he tweeted.
Our views & approach on restarting flights have been clearly stated.— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) April 20, 2020
On 2nd April, I said "A decision to restart flights after this period remains to be taken" & reiterated this on 5th. On14th when Lockdown extended, I said "we can CONSIDER lifting restrictions" after Lockdown. pic.twitter.com/LkXKkofKsY
"On 18th April I again said--So far no decision has been taken to open domestic and international operations--and reiterated on 19th that--No decision has been taken so far to commence domestic and international operations.--An advisory was also issued to airlines," he wrote in another tweet.
He added that since some airlines did not heed to the Union Ministry's advisory and opened bookings and started collecting money from flyers, a directive was issued to them on April 19 restraining them from doing so. They were also informed that they will be given sufficient notice and time to commence bookings.
The extended lockdown will continue till May 3. The lockdown was imposed from March 25 to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the country.