Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri recently announced that domestic air travel would resume from May 25 in a calibrated manner. To this end, airports and air carriers have been readying for the restarting of operations.
According to The Press Trust of India, he has also said he is not in favour of keeping the middle seat empty as social distancing will still not be met.
Social distancing requirement not met even if middle seats in flights are kept vacant, so we will fill up middle seats: Aviation Minister— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) May 21, 2020
The standard operating procedure for domestic air travel will be announced soon, and it is necessary as the aviation industry’s revenue has been zero for the past 2 months.
It’s not viable to keep the middle seat vacant. Even if you keep the middle seat vacant you will still have a situation where prescribed distance for social distancing isn’t followed. If you were to do it then you have to hike up airline ticket price by 33%.
Twitter had some interesting reactions to this statement about the middle seat.
“Kitna bhi tabiyat ka dhyaan rakho, ek din marna toh hai hi” – Me eating 17th piece of Gulaabjamun— Sagar (@sagarcasm) May 21, 2020
This is like saying:— Cow Momma (@Cow__Momma) May 21, 2020
"We can't clean up the River Ganga, so let's throw some more sewage in it."
On two wheeler – No pillion rider— आत्मनिर्भर Krishna (@Simply_Krishna) May 21, 2020
In Auto – Only one person
In car – only two along with driver
In e Rickshaw – Only one
In Bus Only Twenty persons
In Train – No vacant seat but all must be tested and quarantined.
In Flight – What is social distancing & Quarantine ?
Further updates to the situation are awaited.