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India’s full-service carrier, Vistara, announced resuming its domestic flights starting May 25, adhering to the orders from the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MCA). The airline also declared that it will operate in strict compliance with the new flight rules and guidelines issued by the MCA to ensure absolute safety of its passengers and staff. By Kumar Shree
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For the next few weeks, Vistara will operate on a reduced network of flights, connecting 24 cities across India. Following the guidelines by the MCA, the airlines will also incorporate multiple measures to minimise contact and ensure safety. Some of these steps include temporary suspension of its onboard meal services and mandatory web-check-in for all passengers. Other steps include self-printing of boarding pass and baggage tags, limiting the number of check-in bag and carry-on bag to one each, and accepting a passenger only after they produce the health certification on the mandatory Aarogya Setu app.
Talking about the new development, Mr Leslie Thng, Vistara’s Chief Executive Officer said, “Aviation is a growth engine for the economy and resumption of air travel will give great impetus to the government’s overall efforts in helping the country eventually return to normalcy.” He also thanked the government for their consultative approach and the new guidelines. “We will support the government’s initiatives and maintain the highest level of safety, hygiene, and security in our operations to provide a flying experience to passengers that they can continue to trust,” he added.
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Vistara’s aircrafts manufactured by Airbus and Boeing use highly efficient airflow and filtration systems to ensure hygienic cabin. Its powerful HEPA filters trap 99.9 per cent of particulates such as a virus (including Coronavirus), bacteria, and fungi. Apart from this, all staff will also wear personal protective equipment (PPE). The airlines will ensure disinfectant cleaning of the aircraft at the turn-around of every single flight and a deep cleaning every 24 hours. Vistara flights will also have all necessary equipment to tackle any emergency need. The airline will also temporarily suspend its priority boarding and will practice reverse zone boarding for the time.
Apart from the efforts of the airlines, passengers are also expected to follow certain rules and guidelines. These include reaching the airport two hour before the departure, wearing a face mask always, using hand santisers at frequent intervals, etc.