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No Passenger Flights For Now, Next 15 Days Crucial, Says Uddhav Thackeray

Uddhav Thackeray said he spoke with Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri regarding resumption of domestic flights. “I understand the need for opening up air travel, but we need more time to prepare,” he said.

Mumbai/ New Delhi: Maharashtra today said it is anticipating more coronavirus cases and needs “time to prepare” for the opening of the aviation sector. The lockdown, cannot be lifted even by May 31 — the deadline for lockdown4, said Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, whose state has 47,190 out of 1,31,868 coronavirus cases in the country.
“I spoke to the Aviation minister (Hardeep Singh Puri) . I understand the need for opening up air travel, but we need more time to prepare,” Uddhav Thackeray said during an address to the people of the state.

For now, the state will just continue to operate special flights including international transfer passengers, medical emergencies, for students, and others on compassionate grounds.The Chief Minister also said he wants the Mumbai airport to fine tune its operations and come up with a plan.

The next 15 days would be crucial, the Chief Minister said. “A lot of movement of people is expected, anticipating more cases as well. So things can open up only gradually. We won’t lift lockdown now. We can’t say that lockdown will be over by May 31… Need to be extra cautious during monsoon,” he added.

Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik, however, told NDTV that “Flights can take off and land from Mumbai tomorrow”. “There will be 25 flights,” he said.

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