DGCA asks airlines to keep middle seats vacant or provide protective equipment to passengers
All the airlines that have resumed operations in India have been asked to allot seats in a manner that ensures middle seats, between two passengers, are vacant to the extent possible.
All the airlines that have resumed operations in India have been asked to allot seats in a manner that ensures middle seats, between two passengers, are vacant to the extent possible. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Monday informed the airlines that in case they have to allot middle seat due to high demand, then the passengers should be provided with protective gear.
The airline regulator asked the airlines to provide a three-layered face mask, face shield and a "wrap-around gown (Ministry of Textile approved standards" to those occupying the intervening seat in an airplane
This came after the civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that keeping the middle seat vacant would not be viable for the both airlines and passengers as the fares would shoot up. The domestic flight operations in India resumed last week after a gap of over two months due to the countrywide lockdown. The international flight services will be resumed before August.
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The passengers on domestic flights will not be provided with meals or drinking water on board, except in extreme circumstance, the DGCA order read. The entry and exit in a flight shall be sequential. The passenger should not rush towards the exit as soon as the flight lands. Airlines must ensure an orderly entry and exit of the travellers, the regulator said.
The order asks airlines to use air-conditioning system in such a way that the air gets replaced at the shortest possible intervals. The inventories in the airplane shall be cleaned and sanitised during the journey. At the end of the day, each aircraft must be deep cleaned, the regulator advised.
All the crew members need to be checked on a regular basis as well. In case of COVID-19 emergency on board, airlines must disinfect all the affected and adjoining seats. DGCA asked the airport authorities and airline companies to explore possibility of having a disinfection tunnel to ensure safety of passengers.
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