As per a recent Times of India article, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in India is working on a plan to resume flights with social distancing once the government opens up movement.
Indian airlines could operate with only one-third occupancy, with a seat vacant between two seats, to permit safe social distancing. Giving an example, if one passenger is seated on the window seat, the other passenger would be asked to be seated in the aisle seat.
An aircraft with 180 seats would operate only 60 seats, dramatically increasing air fares by up to three fold.
“With time, as things hopefully improve on the corona front in terms of the spread of getting contained and medicines/vaccines being developed, we will gradually ease social distancing norms,” an official was quoted in the Times of India.
A 1.5-metre distance between passengers at airports from the entry gate to boarding gates would be required to maintain by the DGCA.
The airline official also said that they do not foresee a lot of traffic in the first few weeks post the lockdown, and hence following these rules may not be a problem.
Airlines have already started making changes to ensure safe travel post the coronavirus lockdown period, as per the report. Spicejet and Indigo have marked certain seats with an X that would be vacant during flights.
In addition, passengers would be required to be present at the check-in counters two hours before the flight time, unlike in the past where only a 45-minute window before the flight was appropriate.