Since the start of the lockdown in late March, all scheduled passenger flights to India had been halted. While foreign airlines have been operating to repatriate citizens of other countries out of the country. Only a few of repatriation flights have been operated back to India in this period.
The government of India has announced that it will begin organising repatriation flights to India beginning 7th May 2020. Arrangements are being made to transport stranded citizens on non-scheduled commercial flights and naval ships.
No more free flights
As specifically noted in the above press release, the big change is that these repatriation flights will no longer be free of cost. The earlier flights operated by Air India had repatriated citizens without charge.
All passengers wanting to take these flights will be subjected to medical screening and only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to fly. After arriving in India, these passengers will have to mandatorily register on the Aarogya Setu app and will be placed in a 14-day quarantine.
Further details of the standard operating protocol (SOP) that will be followed for these flights will be published by the ministry.