India will try to restart a good percentage of international passenger flights before August, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Saturday, three days after announcing resumption of domestic flights from May 25.
All scheduled commercial passenger flights have been suspended in India since March 25 when the Modi government imposed a lockdown to contain the novel coronavirus pandemic.
"I am fully hopeful that before August or September, we will try to start a good percentage of international civil aviation operations, if not complete international operations," Puri said during a Facebook live session.
"I can't put a date on it (restarting international flights). But if somebody says can it be done by August or September, my response is why not earlier depending on what is the situation," he said.
"Why wait till August-September? If situation eases or improves, if the virus behaves in predictable manner, we get used to idea of being able to co-exist with it and we are in position to make arrangements, then why not start by June middle or end July?" the Minister said.
He said the government's effort would be to see that if they are able to see that at least a good percentage, even if not the international civil aviation, we can start.