India is ofcourse world’s potentially fastest growing economy and was fastest growing Aviation sector with average CAGR of 17% in pre COVID period.
GOI is taking various measures to revive economy by unlocking through cautious measures, various economic packages and also a very bold AtmaNirbhar Bharat Mission initiated aggressively. In its continuity, Ministry of Civil Aviation also commenced Vande Bharat Mission to help Indians to return to India from various countries and also recently commenced International flights through “Äir Bubble” between 13 countries from 01st Sep 2020.
To boost passenger load on international flights Ministry of Civil Aviation had recently issued an Order on 02nd Sep 2020, allowing passengers to board from last overseas departure airport even if they couldnt do RT-PCR 96 hours before departure as per the prevailing guidelines but upon touching down 1st Indian Airport the passenger need to under go RT-PCR and will be put under Quarantine if found to be +ve, else can continue to further destination. Pls refer the link of the Order below.
I had written to Hon’ble Minister of Civil Aviation drawing his attention on the serious concerns as the Order didnot specify under which unavoidable circumstances passengers without having done RT-PCR could be allowed to board the Aircraft as this points to invitation to the infection in the Country. Further the Order also didnt specify that such passengers should be treated as deemed to be infected and be seated separate from other passengers and also they should be served for inflight services by exclusive crew.
Unfortunately, an Air India Express Aircraft on 04th Sep flew from Jaipur and landed at Dubai with patient who had +ve COVID Report. As this was 2nd case of Infected patient being flown, which was violation of laid down procedures, Schedule of Air India Express were suspended from 18th Sep till 02 Oct vide Dubai Civil Aviation Authority letter DCAA/ASA/I-1/050 dated 17th Sep 2020, which was subsequently revoked through Diplomatic Channels.
It has now become prudent on the part of Ministry of Civil Aviation to review its 2nd Sep 2020 Order, where in no Passengers to and from an Airport without RT-PCR 96 hours before boarding be allowed. It is expected that the MOCA will review the order and issue amendment, as that will be a good order to ensure that Air Passenger traffic gradually grows and yet there is no threat to other healthy passengers and also no infected passenger is allowed to enter India as fuel to fire when our Govt is already working hard to control COVID spread..