As the aviation sector waits for the government’s nod to resume operations, it is also going through a reset mode.
From the way airlines buy aircraft, or how customers move around an airport, to even the salary structure of cabin crew and pilots, the sector may see a new normal.
How is it going to change the way passengers travel?
Apart from tickets and ID cards, you will also need to wear a mask and gloves, for the CRPF personnel to let you past the entry gate.
Once past, the customer will have to heed a host of new guidelines. This is what Delhi and Mumbai airports – the two busiest in the country – have requested:
Carry minimal luggage, check in from home and use cards for transactions.
Moreover, expect restrictions on moving around the airport. Hoping to hang around with friends or relatives, at a bar, or a restaurant? You may, but at 1.5 meters between each other.
“The seating arrangements at the food court as well as in the terminal building are reshuffled in a manner that promotes social distancing,” said GVK MIAL, managing the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai.
And do not get irritated if washrooms are restricted, as these will now be cleaned every hour.
Boarding will be slower, so do not hurry. Both airline and airport executives are under strict instructions to maintain social distancing as customers queue up. Especially, do not rush towards the bus to grab a seat, it may be marked X, meaning it is unavailable. There will be few available, to ensure passengers do not sit too close to each other.
In-flight services will not be the same. Get used to cold sandwiches; hot meals would be off the menu for a while to reduce interactions with the crew.