While most commercial passenger travel has been on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this week has seen the return of domestic services for India’s aviation sector.

Despite the number of new coronavirus cases still rising in India, the resumption of domestic flights is a clear signal that the country is moving to end its lockdown and is bracing for what comes next. To ensure the safety and well-being of passengers and staff, Airports Authority of India (AAI) has issued standard operating procedures to all its airports. These includes the need for passengers to register with the Aarogya Setu app on their phones. The contact tracing app has been developed by the Indian Government to connect essential health services with the people of India in the fight against COVID-19.

In line with India’s return to domestic services, a survey carried out this month found that domestic travel in the US and Canada is also set to boom. More than 14,000 US and Canadian travellers were surveyed in the study conducted by AirportParkingReservations.com.

Some 57% of respondents said that if they were to travel in 2020, it would be domestically in the US and Canada.

“Our customers are telling us that they would like to travel soon,” said Carlos Chilin, General Manger of AirportParkingReservations.com and ParkSleepFly.com. “They’ve indicated that a big factor for their decisions will be the health and safety protocols implemented to make them feel protected. Tourist locations in the US have a big opportunity to capitalise on the pent-up demand that should come as travel increases.”

Of course, the demand for domestic travel is not just limited to air travel. While flights aren’t ruled out of the equation, 43% of respondents also said they were interested in taking a road trip in 2020.

But whatever the mode of transport, it’s perhaps no surprise that as travel restrictions are lifted around the world airports and airlines will see demand leaning towards domestic travel first.

Have a safe weekend,

Chloë Greenbank, Regional Gateway Editor.

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