Coronavirus Update: IndiGo plans to trim capacity and restart operations from May 4


India’s largest airline IndiGo is planning to restart its operations in a curtailed manner from May 4 and will also conduct temperature screening of all passengers prior to boarding.


Chief operating officer (COO) Wolfgang Prock-Scahuer, in an internal memorandum directed the staff to maintain 1 metre distance from each other and restrict assembling of two people at the same time.

According to a plan circulated internally, the airline will gradually inflate the capacity in the following months and re-start international routes, as per the government restrictions. The government has also extended the lockdown by 20 days, which signifies that the airlines will have to stay grounded till May 3.

“We will begin domestic operations only on May 4. At present, our singular focus will be preserving health of our customers and employees,” IndiGo Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ronojoy Dutta said in a public statement.

The internal communication by Prock-Scahuer, soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement to extend the lockdown, presented a detailed plan of restarting operations. “Any customer suspected to have fever will not be allowed to board and refund will be given,” Prock Scahuer wrote.

The airline will also maintain strict zonal boarding process for preventing grouping of passengers at the same time.

Besides, Indian aviation regulator DGCA is developing a set of guidelines for ensuring that the distancing is measured in confined places like aircraft and airport once air services resume. The steps involve measures by keeping middle seat and the last three rows empty. This will bring down the capacity of an aircraft significantly.

IndiGo also has also decided to disinfect aircraft after every arrival and deep-clean planes every night. “Special focus should be given to touch points like tray tables, arm rests, over head nozzles, crew call button, lavatories, and door and sink taps during cleaning,” Prock-Scahuer added.


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